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Reps to probe hike in prices of diesel, cooking gas

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday resolved to investigate the cause of the increase in the prices of diesel and cooking gas in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion presented by a member of the House, Chike Okafor (APC-Imo), at the plenary in Abuja.

Okafor, who led the debate on the motion, said the Nigeria Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) was created in August 2021 in line with the Petroleum Industry Act.

He said part of the agency’s mandate was to provide effective regulatory oversight, ensure sufficient product distribution and supply at an equitable and fair price.

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The lawmaker noted that all businesses and households in Nigeria depend on diesel-powered generators as an alternative source of electricity.

He said: “The outrageous rise in the price of diesel shows that diesel which was sold between N280 and N350 per litre three weeks ago is currently being sold above N780 per litre.

“It is still rising on a daily basis accounting for over 115.4 per cent increase within three weeks.

“Diesel was deregulated in 2009 with an initial price of N100 per litre, and between 2009 and date, Nigerians have witnessed a rising percentage increase in the price of the product.

“The hike in the cost of diesel is alleged to be the handiwork of unscrupulous stakeholders in the industry, and is tantamount to economic sabotage.

“The hike is causing untold hardships to Nigerians as it will result in an increase in prices of food and other goods and services.”

In his ruling, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, directed the Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Upstream), and Gas Resources to investigate the matter and report back within six weeks.

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