Fuel Price Hike: Reps convene special session, summon oil minister, Kachikwu
The House of Representatives has convened a special session at which Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, will interact with the lawmakers over the new premium motor spirit price regime hiked to N145 lask week, some lawmakers, including Ahmed Kaita and Akeem Adeyemi.
The special session is slated for today, Monday, at noon – a shift from its regular schedule of plenary which holds Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays starting.
Last week, Mr. Kachikwu announced the new price regime capped at N145 from a subsidized rate of N86.50.
The Vice President and head of government’s economic team, Yemi Osinbajo, said the new policy became imperative following decline in foreign exchange earning.
“The NNPC exchanges crude from its joint venture share to provide about 50% of local fuel consumption. The remaining 50% is imported by major and independent marketers.
“These marketers up until three months ago sourced their foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria at the official rate. However, since late last year, independent marketers have brought in little or no fuel because they have been unable to get foreign exchange from the CBN. The CBN simply did not have enough. (In April, oil earnings dipped to $550 million. The amount required for fuel importation alone is about $225million!),” Mr. Osinbajo said, in Presidency’s “our story”.
The fuel price hike is expected to worsen Nigeria’s growing inflationary trend which has seen prices of goods, especially food items, skyrocket at a time some states of the federation have not paid workers’ salaries for months.
Ahead of Mr. Kachikwu’s meeting with the House, Mr. Kaita disclosed that “about 68” APC lawmakers had been meeting since Saturday to ensure support for the new policy from the National Assembly end.
But a PDP lawmaker who does not want to be named said his party caucus would “criticise and oppose” the new policy to “let Nigerians see the hardship brought on them by the APC and Buhari”.
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