The federal government is hereby urged to take another look at their Sinister plots to withdraw subsidy from petroleum products in the Country as a result of the signing into the law of the Federation of the controversially legislated petroleum industrial Bill (PIB).
Besides, the Prominent pro-democracy and Not-for-profit body- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has dismissed as a fraud the just signed Petroleum Industrial Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari which concedes just three percent pay out to crude oil producing area just as the Rights group said it (The PIB signed) “is like a man whose wife was raped consistently and he is just handed three Naira by the Rapists to shut up and the rapist goes without being prosecuted in accordance with the law”.
HURIWA said the PIB must be altered fundamentally and amended transparently immediately to give not less than 10 percent of compensation from crude oil revenues to crude oil rich but criminally marginalised and neglected communities in Southern Nigeria. HURIWA carpeted Southern Senators for allowing themselves to be bought over so a rubbish piece of legislation is passed as the PETROLEUM INDUSTRIAL BILL.
Sounding this note about the danger of subsidy withdrawal, and sounding strong warning because of the prospect of imminent explosion of sophisticated social and organised crimes by youngsters as a result of the economic adversities that would inevitably characterize any withdrawal of fuel subsidy and consequential hike in the pump price of petroleum products, the Prominent Civil Rights group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said it will amount to political suicide if such pump price hike as contemplated by government is actualized.
HURIWA cautioned thus: “Let President Muhammadu Buhari not be deceived by his anti- people and hardline posture of ordering military attacks of peaceful protesters to presume that it can simply introduce all kinds of oppressive and draconian policies and there will be peace. Peace will elude Nigeriaif the masses are continuously impoverishedby the corruption inclined government officials in the centre of administration of Nigeria at the moment. The President must have by now seen how destabilized some of his obnoxious policies have led to the heightened state of insecurity including commercial kidnappings and terror related crimes especially in the North. So, we urge his government not to take Nigerians for granted because what will inevitably happen is that hardship and economic crises that would erupt from fuel price hike will dovetail into much more sophisticated and devastating social and organised crimes in such a way that the legitimacy of his government would be rubbished”.
HURIWA says what the government needs to do is to reform the fuel subsidy regime, cut down on public sector corruption especially in the corruption ridden Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and then revive beneficially the moribund refineries and stop the plan to inject public fund into private refinery of a favoured ‘boy’ of government who is said to be building a private refinery so as to run a fuel monopoly.
HURIWA then said: “Is the current government not ashame that refineries are working in Niger Republic that is not bigger than Bayes State but the same administration importing finished products from Niger Republic that has no crude deposits as much as we do, cannot fix, our moribund refineries transparently?”.
Citing news reports, HURIWA recalled a top official of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, who confided in a media housevof note on Monday, said, “The minister will at the press conference tomorrow (Tuesday) explain the government policy direction on fuel subsidy, but if what he said in the past is anything to go by, he may announce a fresh direction on subsidy, which will be removed with the signing of the PIB.”
Recall that Sylva had in July explained that subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, would come to an end once the PIB was signed into law by the President.
The minister had said, “This (subsidy removal) is desirable for the interest and growth of Nigeria. Of course, everybody will have their perspectives, but from where I sit, I believe that subsidy removal is the best thing for Nigeria and not just the industry.
“So far, discussions with stakeholders are still ongoing. But I will also bring it to your attention that today, when the President assents the PIB, subsidy will become a matter of law, because it is already in the PIB that petroleum products will be sold at market-determined prices.”
Also in June, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, had explained that the price of petrol should be more than the N280 per litre at which Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, was being sold then.
The NNPC boss explained that the difference between the prices of petrol and diesel should be around N10 per litre, with petrol having the higher cost.
Kyari had said, “Today, we are paying N162 per litre (for petrol). I am sure that many people buy AGO (diesel) in the market and it is selling at N280 per litre in the market today.
“So, (there is) nowhere in the world that diesel sells more than PMS. That means that the price of petrol anywhere in the world, assuming you are going to sell it at the market rate, you are going to sell it above that price you have seen. The difference in prices between both is usually around N10 per litre.