Fuel Hike Hoax: CSOs sue for calm ahead of FG, stakeholders negotiations

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    A leading pro-Nigeria civil society group, Nigeria First, has sued for peace and calm amongst citizens in the face of ongoing negotiations on the total deregulation of Nigeria’s oil industry.

    Nigeria First whilst throwing its weight behind the Federal Government in its ongoing reforms in the Oil and Gas sector, blamed fake news and misinformation for the current misunderstanding over the yet to be concluded negotiations on PMS pump price between the Federal Government and other stakeholders in the sector.

    Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, Secretary-General, Comrade Augustine Richard Adie, accused manipulators in the petroleum industry of selling an agenda to the public by refusing to accept all clarifications made by the authorities. 

    According to Adie, these ” detractors and saboteurs have sold the inciting dummy to gullible Nigerians and the result is panic-buying, and deliberate hoarding of petroleum products to create artificial scarcity to satisfy their excessive quest for profits”. 

    Adie further noted that the aim is to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari’s laudable reforms in the sector, knowing fully well that he does not determine the price of PMS in the international market. 

    Adie added that neither the president, petroleum ministry,  Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation or the country’s oil managers have added a penny to the current price regime of petroleum products. 

    “There is an unconscionable linking of the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government with mindless price increments on petroleum products to further inflict hardships on Nigerians. The news is false in all accuracy of the realities on the ground!,” the statement read partly. 

    “But for days, the manipulators in the Oil and Gas industry and speculators of the fake news have been insistent on selling this agenda to the public by refusing to accept all clarifications made by the authorities . This is despite the officially repeated refutations by the Ministry of Petroleum, the NNPC, PPPRA and other subsidiary companies in the Oil and Gas sector.

    “The detractors and saboteurs have sold the inciting dummy to gullible Nigerians and the result is panic-buying, and deliberate hoarding of petroleum products to create artificial scarcity to satisfy their excessive quest for profits. The intention is to discredit President Buhari, who does not determine the price of PMS in the international market which is strictly regulated by OPEC.     

    “We wish to state categorically clear to all Nigerians that neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor the Petroleum Ministry or the NNPC, Nigeria’s oil managers have added a penny to the current price regime of petroleum products. There is enough supply of PMS all over Nigeria.

    “What has happened is that through a consensus of Nigeria’s think-tank/ stakeholders, particularly in the Oil and Gas industry, including high profile leaders, a tentative consensus was reached that oil subsidy be dropped in 2021.”

    Nigeria First, however, urged Nigerians to remain calm as there is no price increase in PMS or any other petroleum product. 

    It noted that the prevailing PMS price still stands until consultations are finally concluded and the decisions reached shall be officially communicated to all .

    While assuring Nigerians of PMS supply for the foreseeable future, the group hoped that the subverts and greedy profiteers shall be caught and made to face the law. 

    Adie further assured Nigerians that Mr. President is ready to protect their interests at all time, taking into account his extraordinary reforms and transparency in the Oil and Gas industry. 

    “The transparency and accountability in the sector as experienced now are novel to Nigerians and we must all trust and repose full confidence in Mr President who doubles as the Petroleum Minister in ensuring that marketers are monitored and no arbitrary charges or profits are adopted by marketers and stakeholders in the industry to impose hardships on Nigerians,” Adie said. 

    “The current artificial scarcity which is occasioned by fake news and selfish manipulators in the industry is highly regretted. It is a conduct worthy of condemnation by all Nigerians”. 

    The Nigeria First, however, urged the key actors in the Oil and Gas sectors not to relent, but to compliment the President’s efforts in its accountability drive to continue to protect the interest of the masses in the Oil and Gas industry.