Northern youth groups on Monday kicked against the hike in the pump price of petrol announced by the Federal Government, calling for an immediate reversal.
They threatened to shut down the Abuja offices of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) headquarters in Abuja to press home their demands, even as they called on other Nigerians to join them in this action.
“We enjoin Nigerians to troop out to reject this act of frustration and deliberate infliction of hardship on all Citizen by Overzealous appointee of government on Tuesday 14th July 2020 when we shall be shutting down NNPC and PPPRA headquarters Abuja to press home our demands,” they said.
The youths also called for the voluntary resignation of major stakehilders in government who they alleged misled the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to hike the price, insisting that their action had the potential of inciting Nigerians against the government.
The leaders of the youth groups, while speaking to journalists at the Arewa House, Kaduna, also insisted that the hike in oil price had eroded President Muhammadu Buhari’s goodwill which he had enjoyed from the Nigerian public.
The youth leaders included Isah Abubakar, National President, Northern Youth Council, Mohammed Saliu Danlamin, Chairman Nigeria Citizen Action Group.
Others were Speaker, Arewa Youth Assembly, Secretary Nigeria Citizen Action Group, Salahudeen A Lukman, Convener, National President Intellectual Progressive Youth Network and spokesperson, Nigeria Citizen Action Group.
The groups said: “Nigerians will recall that on 11th May, 2016 Federal Government through NNPC announced removal of fuel subsidy which necessitates hike in PMS from N97 to N145, an increase of 66.67%, a similar policy former administration of Goodluck Jonathan/PDP tried that Nigerian out rightly rejected with massive protest Nationwide.
“Out of goodwill, unblemished trust and unprecedented love Nigerians have for President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration as man of integrity, the policy reintroduction was never questioned rather citizens endured despite its resultant effect on our day to day activities with hope for good governance in return as new government of President Buhari needs every cooperation and support of citizens to deliver as then.
“It became a mirage, an unfortunate experience that none of citizen’s expectation came to pass instead Nigerians’ patience are being taking for foolishness as National Assembly queried Federal Government on 31st May, 2019 after a revelation that we are paying highest subsidy in the history of Nigeria under same government that hike PMS price in the name of total subsidy removal. As Nigeria spent 11trilion Naira in 6 years in subsidy.”
Continuing, the youth leaders said that aside the fact that numerous revelations in the recent exposed non remittance of tax into federation account by NNPC, while it had equally been in public domain’s violation of procurement act and scandalous contract award process by the same NNPC such as revealed by former Minister Ibe kachukwu’ leaked memo to president Buhari on 4th October, 2017.
“As at the peak of global oil price collapse at inception of Covid-19 pandemic where crude oil price fell from $67.3 (Dec 2019) to $32.31 (March 2020) per barrel, Nigeria as major crude oil producer should not have buy PMS more than N35 per litter but NNPC through her unintelligent, incoherent and inconsistent subsidiary called Petrolum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency PPPRA peged pump price at N125. 50/liter on 19th March 2020, and N123. 50 on 1st April, 2020.
“It’s with total dismay Citizen received with rude shock the increase in PMS pump price again on 1st July, 2020 from N123.50 to N143.80 despite no significant price appreciation of crude oil globally from $32.31(March 2020) to $48.80 (June 2020) per barrel.
“Instead of Nigerian citizen to experience further drop in PMS price or maintenance of status-quo, the PPPRA, NNPC and Ministry of Petroleum decided to hike the pump price amidst this global pandemic recovery moves.
“This we consider a deliberate attempt to erode off President Muhammadu Buhari goodwill, solidarity support, trust and love from the heart of Nigeria Citizens.
“At a time when nations are doing more to aide her citizens out of this post pandemic era when many have lost job, salary cut, business shut among other adverse effect, the appointees of government decide to incite citizen against their principal/government. Its so unfortunate, highly ridiculous, callous and insensitive.
“Nigeria Citizen Action Group, NCAG ,a pro-masses and coalition of Civil society organizations, Youth and student movement hereby demand immediate reversal of this hike and voluntary resignation of the Executive Secretary PPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu Umar, the Group Managing Director NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari and Honorable Minister of state For Petroleum Resources H. E Timpre Silva on or before Monday 13th July, 2020 (7 working days ultimatum).
“We enjoin Nigerians to troop out to reject this act of frustration and deliberate infliction of hardship on all Citizen by Overzealous appointee of government on Tuesday 14th July 2020 when we shall be shutting down NNPC and PPRA headquarters Abuja to press home our demands. Dare to struggle…. Dare to win ,” they said.
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