Anger is sweeping across the country over the recent hike in the cost of some of the basic needs in the country: petrol price shot up Tuesday from N148 per litre to N151.56; the postponed hike in electricity Tariffs took off on Tuesday.
Among those leading the pack of those opposed to the hikes are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
But the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as shameless the PDP reaction to the current petrol price and electricity tariff in the country.
The PDP rejected the fresh increase in the price of fuel to N151 per liter and electricity tariff to N66 per kwh under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its government, describing such as callous, cruel and punishing.
The party demanded an immediate reversal of the prices to avert a national crisis, as the increase will result in upsurge in costs of goods and services and worsen the biting hardship being faced by Nigerians, who are already impoverished and overburdened by APC-imposed high cost of living in the last five years.
PDP asserts that by increasing the price of fuel from the N87 per litre it sold under the PDP to an excruciating N151 while at the same time allowing the hike in electricity tariff from N30.23 per kwh to over N66, the APC has left no one in doubt that its agenda is to inflict pain and hardship on Nigerians to satisfy their selfish interests.
However, the APC said that for successive PDP governments that foisted on the country a corruption-tainted fuel subsidy regime, it should surprise itself and Nigerians by cajoling its cronies who ran the subsidy rackets — many of them in hiding abroad — to return the country’s stolen commonwealth in their possession.
Said its spokesman, Mr. Yekini Nabena, “Under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. The tortuous fuel queues as a result of biting scarcities are gone. The reviewed petroleum products pricing template has resulted in a more transparent, efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and also resulted in constant availability of fuel nationwide.
“The pricing template now reflects competitive and market driven components which is supported by the citizenry.
“In an effort by this administration to put an end to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity, President Buhari recently directed a nationwide mass metering programme for electricity consumers in the country.
“For the PDP that is only concerned with pushing the interests of its few cronies over the general interest and welfare of the citizenry, we dont expect the PDP to grasp the import of this landmark presidential directive which aside improving electricity and service delivery, is also protecting the poor and vulnerable Nigerians from increased electricity tariff and arbitrary/estimated billings.
“Commendably, the federal government is already working to ensure that Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) commit to increasing the number of hours of electricity supply every day and also improve on their quality of service.
“Perhaps the PDP is also unaware that the current administration has approved a one-year waiver of import levy on electricity meters, so that Nigerians who do not have meters can be supplied as early as possible at a reasonable cost.
“The APC calls on the PDP to wake up to the new Nigeria where the government works for the citizens not a few interests.”
The PDP’s, in its reaction to the increase in tariffs and petrol price by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said, “The unjustifiable increase in the price of these essential supplies, coming barely a week after the APC brazenly posted a support for fuel price hike, while attempting to rationalize the excruciating hardship being suffered by Nigerians under the Buhari administration, has further confirmed that the APC is at the center of the harsh policies of the Buhari Presidency.
“It is distressing that the APC administration increased the cost of essential commodities at the time the leadership of other countries are offering palliatives to their citizens to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is instructive to add that our nation is doomed under the APC watch.
“We know that the APC is an unfeeling party but it is indeed shocking that it could go to the extent of approving such a hike at this trying time, when many Nigerians are struggling to afford staple foods and other necessities of life.
“Our party challenges the APC and the Buhari administration to publish the parameters with which it arrived at the increase of fuel price to N151 per liter given that with the prevailing values in the international market, the appropriate price template for domestic pump price in Nigeria ought not to be above N100 per liter.
“Our party further challenges the APC-led Federal Government to publish details of its sleazy and over-bloated oil subsidy regime, including the involvement of APC interests in the claimed under-recovery for unnamed West African countries, running into trillions of naira, while Nigerians are made to bear the burden of high fuel costs.
“Moreover, the APC and its government have failed to allow an open investigation into allegations of fuel price overcharge as well as the fraudulent subsidy regime through which over N14 trillion had allegedly been frittered by unscrupulous individuals in the APC.
“Our fear is that the APC is pushing Nigerians to the wall with its obnoxious and anti-people proclivities and we caution that nobody should misinterpret the peaceful and law-abiding nature of Nigerians as a sign of weakness.
“Our party therefore restates our call on the National Assembly to save the nation by calling the APC and its administration to order before they plunge our nation into chaos.”