Lagos – The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has lauded the Federal Government’s reduction of the pump price of petrol from N97 to N87 per litre.
The National President of IPMAN, Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, told newsmen in Lagos that the reduction would go a long way in cushioning the economic challenges faced by Nigerians.
“It was a right decision taken by the Federal Government.
“It is a fruitful decision, it will go a long way in addressing the agitation of the people but there should be a holistic approach towards passing the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“Federal Government has been steering the oil and gas industry in the right direction.
“This has shown that government has great concern about the people,” he said.
Mr. Seyi Ganbo, a former National Public Relations Officer, Petroleum, Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), described the reduction as “a two edged sword.”
He said the pump price reduction was in tandem with the public outcry following the persistent fall of crude oil price in international market and the attendant low-landing price of refined petroleum products.
It will be recalled that the reduction is coming after immense pressure on the Federal Government by the opposition party and other commentators to reduce the pump price of petrol.
It will be recalled that the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison, late on Sunday night announced the reduction in line with the prevailing attitude of most OPEC countries and the U.S.
Allison also said that the price change was with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and some drivers and commuters in Enugu State have commended the Federal Government over the reduction of petrol pump price from N97 to N87 per litre.
They told newsmen in Enugu that the pump price reduction would make life easier for Nigerians.
The state’s Chairman of NLC, Chief Chumaife Nze, described the development as a good response to the yearnings of Nigerians.
According to him, the pump price reduction is necessary following the dwindling price of crude oil at the international market.
“The government is sensitive to the plight of the people, so, it will go a long way to alleviate the suffering of the masses.
“We hope that as other situations change, the government will be responsive and change accordingly. What is paramount is the way forward in this country,” he said.
A commercial bus driver, Mr. Ndubuisi Igbokwe, regretted that some petrol stations were not responding to the government’s directive as most of them still sold at N110 and N97 respectively.
Igbokwe also appealed to relevant agencies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring compliance to petroleum laws to do so in the interest of the poor masses.
“I was very happy when I heard about the development. This is the first time in Nigeria that after something went up, it is coming down.
“We are not sure yet if it will affect transportation fares but I know it will make things better for us.
“My fear now is the petrol stations complying with the directive because they say that the product they have is the one that they bought at N110,” he said.
A commuter, Mrs. Ifesinachi Okoro, expressed the hope that the development would positively affect every sector of the economy to improve standard of living.
Another commercial bus driver, Mr. Ikechukwu Nebo, told journalists that the development was a campaign strategy targeted at making people to vote for the PDP.
“We have been in Nigeria and we know the politics they play. Why did they not reduce the price during December when the masses will benefit in their travelling,” he said.
It will be recalled that the petrol pump price reduction was announced on Jan. 18 by the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke.
Madueke also mandated the Department of Petroleum Resources and other petroleum agencies to ensure adequate implementation and compliance.
Meanwhile Mr. Chika Onuegbu, Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Rivers State Council, said that the Federal Government’s decision to reduce the pump price of petrol was a welcome development.
Onuegbu told newsmen in Port Harcourt that the reduction from N97 to N87 per litre was commendable.
“The measures taken by government in adjusting the pump price of fuel “It shows that government is listening to the people and I think it is a welcome development and we are happy about it,” he said.
Onuegbu said the main task before government now was the enforcement. “I think the challenge now is with the enforcement of the directive.
“Some of the marketers may not be willing to immediately adjust to the new price.
“So, it is important that all government agencies that are in the petroleum industry should monitor and ensure that marketers adjust to the new fuel pump price,” he said.
The unionist said that TUC had been calling on the Federal Government to reduce the pump price of fuel in line with the falling international oil price.
“Initially, some government officials had argued that even if oil price was falling, that Naira will be devalued.
“But we made our case to show that the rate of devaluation is not the same as the rate of the fall in oil price,” he said.
Onuegbu said the decision to devalue the currency was a hasty one which was not in the best interest of the economy.
He explained that the country had enough external reserve to cushion the effect of the fall in oil price in the first one year of that fall.