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Femi Falana

The illegality, immorality and insensitivity of fuel price increase

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By Femi Falana

During the campaign last year, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, General Mohammadu Buhari pledged that if elected as President by the Nigerian people his administration would not remove fuel subsidy.

Since he won the election last year President Buhari has consistently resisted pressures from the neo-liberal characters in the government to remove fuel subsidy and increase the price of petrol. On January 18, 2016 the federal government allayed the fear of the Nigerian people when the price of petrol was reduced to N86.50k per litre. In justifying the decision, the federal government claimed that the reduction was due to an implementation of the revised component of the Petroleum Products Pricing Template for PMS and household kerosene.

It would be recalled that following the popular agitation against the removal of fuel subsidy in 2012, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources had announced the decision of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to set up 30 green field refineries in the country. Shortly thereafter, the policy was jettisoned due to pressure from the cabal of local fuel importers. In 2013, the Jonathan administration secured a loan of $1.6 billion for the maintenance of the country’s four refineries. At the end of the repairs the refineries could only refine about 80,000 barrels of crude oil per day instead of 445,000 barrels earmarked for domestic consumption. The Buhari administration has also spent millions of dollars for the so called turn around maintenance of the refineries.

Barely a month ago, Dr. Kachikwu had announced that fuel subsidy had been removed through his ingenuity. In celebrating the “success” recorded by him in the management of the petroleum industry he disclosed that Nigeria was saving $1 billion in subsidy removal and $1 billion in fuel importation. He also stated that “for the first time, our refineries are ready to work now. crude has been pumped from Brass to Port Harcourt. Pipeline is being used for the first time in 10 years for the first time in six years. For the first time we are able to pump to Ilorin, we have not done that in 10 years.” (See Nigerian Tribune, March 16, 2016). Curiously, Dr. Kachikwu’s “giant strides” in the petroleum industry appear to have collapsed completely before our very eyes!

Hence, without any public debate or consultation with relevant stakeholders whatsoever the federal government took the Nigerian people by surprise yesterday when it decided to increase the pump price of petrol from N86.50k to N145 per litre. Not too long ago, the federal government had supported the imposition of higher tariffs paid on epileptic supply of electricity by consumers. In sentencing the Nigerian people to excruciating economic agony the Ministry of Power defied a court order which had restrained the government from giving effect to the proposed electricity tariff. In the same vein, the decision to increase the price of petrol is also illegal and contemptuous.

In the case of Bamidele Aturu versus Attorney-General of the Federation (unreported suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/591/2009) the Federal High Court declared illegal and unconstitutional the policy decision of the federal government to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry contrary to the combined effect of the provisions of the Price Control Act and the Petroleum Act.

In total defiance of the said order of the federal high court the federal government has deregulated the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. In justifying the illegal policy, Dr. Kachukwu claimed that “PPPRA has informed me that it will be announcing a new price band effective today, 11th May, 2016 and that the new price for PMS will not be above N145 per litre.” Since the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) which is statutorily empowered to recommend the price of petroleum products has not been reconstituted the unilateral decision of the Executive Secretary of the body to fix the pump price at N145 per litre is ultra vires and illegal in every material particular. In view of the illegality, insensitivity and immorality of the price increase the federal government should cancel it, revert to the status quo and consult widely with all relevant stakeholders in the society.

However, due to the ongoing fuel crisis in the country the Directorate of Petroleum Resources (DPR) recently invited fresh bids for the setting up modular refineries. At the end of the screening exercise sometime in March this year the DPR announced that it had awarded 22 licences for modular refineries with combined capacities to refine 1.429 million barrels of crude oil per day.

If the policy is genuinely pursued the construction of the refineries ought to be completed within the 9-12 months. If such refineries are established in the country the importation of fuel and the fraud associated with it will stop. In the interim, instead of importing oil from Europe and the United States the NNPC should refine crude oil for domestic consumption in neighbouring countries which have functional refineries. After all, Nigeria refines 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day in Cote d’ivoire which is not an oil producing nation.

If subsidy had been removed over a month ago and the country has been saving $2 billion (from fuel importation and subsidy removal) while the refineries are now working at full capacity Dr. Kachukwu should tell Nigerians the justification for the new removal of fuel subsidy announced by him yesterday. The cost elements that make up the N145 are provocative. If the total landing cost of a litre and other charges are fixed at N138 what is the basis of fixing the price at N145? For goodness sake, why should motorists be made to pay NPA/NIMASA charges, demmwithin and without urage/storage/ bridging charges etc?

At this stage President Buhari ought to prevent neo-liberal ideologues from hijacking the administration for the purpose of punishing the Nigerian people for the looting of the treasury and mismanagement of the national economy. Contrary to the position of the parasitic ruling class that prices of goods and services be fixed by market forces the federal government has a legal obligation to protect the people from exploitation.

For instance, the virtual collapse of electricity supply has forced many corporate bodies and individuals to invest heavily in generators and diesel throughout the country. Although the price of diesel has crashed all over the world it has continued to increase in Nigeria due to manipulation.

The federal government should, as a matter of urgency, abolish the monopoly in the importation and sale of diesel. There is no justification for the monopolistic control of goods and services under a free market economy!

FEMI FALANA, SAN

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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148 comments

  1. I am waiting to hear what falana would say, when he is back from his unofficial post, I didn’t know human rights activists accompany presidents to visits. #smh

  2. Nigerian civil society groups need mobilization in order to mobilize to protest. You should know that no protest would work perfectly in Nigeria without sponsors. Who would mobilize them?

  3. Dis government do not ve anything for us

  4. We ‘re d one doing ourself, not until we ‘re faithful n honest to all what we doing, top leaders, riches n d petrol marketers will continue to suffer d masses n d poor. It is this private petrol makers were rubbishing this country, they were rogues, when Govt gave them free hands 2 import like 100trucks of petrol n import 70 trucks of petrol n collect d money 4 100 trucks, is that not fraud? Only God can deliver us from d hands of these pple called themslves private petrolleum dealer. All i know is that a sinner cannot go freely without been punished. Gbogbo awon to nda orile ede ru ni Olorun maa na ni pasan nikehin. A bajo most pple go on petrolleum trade so as to be cheating d nation, see God is watching u. Think of ur end time not to land u in hell fire.

    • U import 70 and get money for 100 abi, OK oooooo who n who is helping the marketers with the permutation, u want to tell me no verification, abi it’s Mr President that W go for the verification. Let be frank for once civil servant re more corrupt than politician, if we want to fight corruption it start with me n you

  5. Were went all dis fools wen the past leaders were looting de system ? Dont we knw dat rebuilding a completly looted system like ours will involve pain and hardship ?. Falana and co should stop acting as if they care.. May de creator protect and lead our leaders towards attaining a positive goal .amin

    • Taaar!shut ur mouth up u idiot!after dis administration, buhari will gv an account of all d money he mis-used nd d 1 he used to purchase AK-47 for d fulani herdsmen

    • Ppl like u kip on amazing Me with dis shallow comments.
      Correct me if am wrong…. Gej was voted out cos dis present govt told Nigerians dey cld do beta.
      HOW IN GODS GREEN EARTH IS GEJ STILL AN ISSUE AFTA A WHOLE YR?
      This country sir belongs to all of us. Not just APC or #Istandwithbuhari# ppl like u.
      Be objective. Support him wen he is right, and be bold to tell him wen he is wrong.
      But bringing up past issues to defend the present situations does not make sense to me.

    • Lovina, face ur ashawo work well. It is francis and ur other brothers who are against a focused administration fighting corrupt and criminal minded ppl dat bought guns for paid fulani killing gang to distract nigerians…No one is happy about de hike in petro price. But we nigerians are paying for allowing basterds loot our money for themselves..may all the children of those dat looted nigeria to dis level end up in shame.amin

    • Bako, u forgot to tell ur gej dat naija belong to all of us we PDP basterds like dasuki,metuh,bafarawa, fani kayode, dokphesi and others were stealing nigerians hard earn money abi ? Idiot.

    • Otori jimoh you disappointed me big time.

    • Rubbish comment @Abdulkareem Otori Jimoh

    • @Abdulkareem just like Buhari, Tinubu and co are stealing today. Abi that is not hard earned money.

    • Abdulkareem,it is ur fada,ur mother ur sisters infact ur past generation nd present 1 ar ASHAWO nd even ur future generations will end up being ashawo too!Anu mpam,almajiri.

    • who is this #abdulkarem or watever. wen mature pple are talkin we dont need children lik abdul to talk. silly boy

    • @Abdulkareem Otori Jimoh, u lack wisdom so your parents did not teach you that whenever you are in the public you should know how to open your mouth to avoid people grading you.

    • abdulkareem u this unwarranted nonentity, u re here comment trash, what were the positive thing that pdp met b4 starting ruling us?

    • Ganiyu,simon,samuel ,ehi, lovina and u Armed Robber Ogbonna. Ur parents were armed robber which u all inherited. Ur fear is dat ur race can not survive without crime. All u dat i mentioned were all given birth to as basterds, aske ur mama to tell u de truth. Ogbonna, have u retired frm ur armed robbry job ?. A race full of basterds can never do without crime. May de creator save nigeria from ur evil urge for wealth. Amin.

    • I won’t stoop low to ur level.
      Won’t insult u mr jimoh a as u hav insulted Me. Cos again u hav proven hw shallow ur mind is.

      All I ask is that u wake up to wat is Nigeria and not just who is on the seat.
      Are u saying becos GEJ did wrong dis govt is also permitted to do wrong? Then wen wil the nation grow wen ur defending it based on past ills. Instead of insulting U, I repeat ma advice. Support buhari, bt wen he is wrong, be bold to tell him as well.

      I look forward to more of ur insults. I guess they make u feel powerful.

    • @ abdulkarim,u a descendant of a slave woman calling another person bastard, uncircumsiz almajiri alas street begger,mai gbewa,kunturu origin with goro smelling mouth,go & bomb urself like ur foolish bro & sis hahahaha

    • Bako,i am sorry if u felt insulted.look around u,all u see is de result of a looted system by our political basterd.pmb should be given a chance .for de first time looters are disgrace b4 their grand childrend for being a thief. Dat alone is an achievement. As for u Judith Ogar, u are angry becus u are a basterd abi ? Aske ur parents for an appology. Is not my fault..let us have a change of atitude. Lets embrase Intergrity and let go corruption. Lets build a nation for our children since ours have been looted by past leaders to feed their basterd children. Lets unite against de corrupt elements in our society..long leave naija.

  6. Stoping talking and go to Ojota and start singing

  7. Abdulkareem Otori Jimoh,continue to rebuild till eternity.

  8. They should go and arrest femi Falana for kwaraption abi dem think say na every body dem go intimidate

  9. And you believed, chair sorry.

  10. He should furnish us with more fact and evidence where Mr President made that promise in the cause of his campaign.

  11. Very good policy !! We can not continue to throw our money away !!! Lets liberalise !! #50 per litre which is unavailable is worse than #145 that is available !!!!

  12. TO

    Mr Femi ,
    Sir, it is now a matter of public understanding that u are using d Nigerian factor to project ur personal agenda and agrandisement. How many people have u sued and what are d judgements as concerns d masses? U are always sueing and nobody hears anything after that. Are u just making money by threathning known criminals to settle u or are u actually making a case for d masses? I guess u might have like 5000 cases against successive governments; how far? What are d results? Or are u a hayena?

  13. When a man is drunk he talks as a fool what is wrong with felana is that the man is hungry

  14. Does dis administration has direction at all, no clear economic policy.

  15. When you stay too long in the toilet you will definitely see different types of flies. Falana SHUT UP, talk too much.

  16. When you stay too long in the toilet you will definitely see different types of flies. Falana SHUT UP, talk too much.

  17. Mr. Falana I disagree with you. I respect you so much and never expect you to join the band wagon effect. Mr. Falana this is simple elementary economic, “demand and supply” as far as this product is imported. And it has always been applied to other products..

  18. DSS or EFCC should invite him

  19. This man sometimes behave funny

  20. Great Femi Falana can never said this because he is learned, inteligent, leterate to highest, he knows what this kind of step will bring eventually. So don’t words in Falana mouth you numskull.

  21. Mr falana don’t only condenm the increment of fuel pump price but please as you did in 2012, lead another protest against the government then people like me will believe that are a people’s lawyer

  22. APC is a party of liars and propagandist .They had successfully deceived nigerian to get to power.The fuel hike and subsidy removal the vehemently campaigned and sponsor NLC ,HUMAN HRIGHT, NAS etc against when they were playing destructive opposition roles to destroy Nigeria to get to power is what they are now implementing .This is deceit of highest order. workers are slumping and died due to non payment of salaries while APC governors are collecting monthly allocation and use it to feed only their family and political friends .CHANGE IN DEED

  23. Human right fight end after Gani death so pls leave us alone you r a fake

  24. i wonder why many looters fraudulent and hawkers get in to constraints in order unturn the image of Mr pmb just for their self interest ,and to condemn buhari style of administration while the spend 16 years with any good transformation as well as development. my hearted on you hypocrisers

  25. i wonder why many looters fraudulent and hawkers get in to constraints in order to onturn the image of Mr pmb just for their self interest ,and to condemn buhari style of administration while the spend 16 years with no any good transformation as well as development. my heartred on you hypocrisies

  26. Our Gains in the Past 11months under PMB:
    1. Increment in electricity tariff
    2. Epileptic power supply
    3. Restricted access to forex
    4. Naira now 326/$
    5. Incessant fuel scarcity
    6. Increment in pump price of petrol from N86 to
    N145. You can calculate the percentage increase
    7. Rampaging Fulani herdsmen killing and maiming
    8. Anti corruption war that makes all APC members
    saints
    9. Dissolution of boards of agencies and parastatals
    without replacements for months
    10. Worst still, major policy statements are either made
    or executed when abroad.

  27. The price shouldn’t be above 100 since gov subsidy per litre is 12 naira

  28. Today Falana is a bad man becos he said the truth, but 2morow he will be praise wen he lied. Naija! why do we sell our conscience to the devil. Any body who critise or tell dis governent d simple truth wil be branded by the yoruba apc / hausa fulani as a bad person or enemy of dis country. God pls help dis country from dis people.

  29. that is technically,fantasticaly,hypocriticaly corrupt

  30. Look at the pump price of fuel in other African countries. Nigeria’s is justfifiably the least. If would guarantee availability ,so be it.

  31. Keep the mouth shurt, go and import fuel and selling to the masses at #86.50 per liter or go back to ojota, yu never voted for change, we voted and this what we voted for

  32. Let him clear himself about the #100 he collected from Dasuki gate. We dont accept anything from Falana unless he vomited that yam he ate.

  33. buhari is number 1 and the most corrupt man

  34. Have a slice of West Point Gardens, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos and Imo state

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    OUTRIGHT PAYMENT: N1,000,000
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    23 MONTHS INSTALMENTS – N69,000 X 23 MONTHS
    N1,800,000

    WEST POINT GARDENS, IBEJU LEKKI, LAGOS
    PHASE 2
    OUTRIGHT PAYMENT: N1,100,000
    DEPOSIT OF N300,000
    N100,000 in 12 months instalments
    N1,500,000

    WEST POINT GARDENS, IBEJU LEKKI, LAGOS
    PHASE 3
    OUTRIGHT PAYMENT: N500,000 (SPECIAL OFFER BUY 5 AND GET ONE FREE)
    DEPOSIT OF N200,000
    N100,000 IN 6 MONTHS INSTALMENTS
    N800,000

    WEST POINT GARDENS, IBEJU LEKKI, LAGOS
    PHASE 4

    Outright payment: N1,800,000
    12 months instalment N2.1million
    DEPOSIT OF =N=300,000=
    =N=150,000 –IN 12 MONTHS INSTALMENT = N=2.1MILLION

    WEST POINT GARDENS
    IRETE OWERRI WEST IMO
    STATE
    Outright Payment
    #800,000.
    6months installment
    950,000
    Deposit. 350,000
    100,000 Monthly payment

    SOLID BASE GARDENS
    AMAKOHIA UBI OWERRI WEST IMO STATE
    #650,000 OUTRIGHT PAYMENT
    800,000 INSTALMENTS FOR 6MONTHS
    DEPOSIT 200,0000
    MONTHLY #100,000.

    IMPORTANT FEATURES:
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  35. Sir which promise have they kept?

  36. I ealier posted that oil subsidy removal should be complemented by low electricity tarrif or it’s subsidy. While oil subsidy removal can be justified by internal and external forces out of control, that of electricity high tarriff that can be solve within our means is a miscariage of policy implementation and insensitivity to the masses plight. As a bail out wokers salary should be increased.

  37. Pls Joshua ask him let him answer.

  38. Yes, femi falana, pls lead the protest against fuel hike if really you are concerned.

  39. If woman did not try two husband she will not know the one to preferred

  40. Efcc will soon invade is resident that is d new trend God help nigeria

  41. Someone wrote this simple analyses –

    Olawole wrote: “Logical Reason!

    Chief Joseph is a petroleum importer. He imports 10 million liters of petrol at the of cost of N95 per liter. He reports to the DPR that he has imported 15 million liters at the cost of N105 per liter, requesting N30 subsidy per liter. DPR sends Mr. Yusif an inspection and monitoring officer, to measure and verify the authenticity of the claims. Chief Joseph offered Mr. Yusif a bribe of the applied subsidy in lieu of 1 million liters, which Yusif rejects instantly, requesting that of 3million liters so that, it can comfortably go round to his bosses. Apparently they ended up agreeing on 2.5m liters each. The deal is struck , Mal. Yusif and his Bosses ended up with N75,000,000 while Joseph, the importer gains N400,000,000 on the deal They jointly cheated the government the sum of N175,000,000. Finally Chief Joseph diverts 75% of the product to the black market and sells at N120 per liter to the masses. Later the government will also pay the cost of transporting 15 million liters to the allocated filling stations across the country. Thats exactly the case of petroleum subsidy in Nigeria. So isn’t it better for the government to invest those savings of hundreds of Billions of Naira wasted every year on subsidy, on life touching projects?.”Be informed.

  42. PMB said he would not remove subsidy because he doesn’t believe there is anything called subsidy! He is still saying so.

  43. How many Nigerians do you think have problem with Cameron`s insults referring to the country as ‘Fantastically Corrupt’? A country gets the type of President she deserves. Call Iran or Pakistan corrupt on the eve of a visit to your country, the leaders of those countries would not only cancel the visits but their citizens back home would invade British embassy inside their countries in a matter of hours to let them know they wouldn’t take insults from a deeply corrupt mediocre. Cameron labelled your country fantastically corrupt. Your President concurred and turned down any apologies.Some of you applauded. Fantastically brutal honesty you said. It’s ok…no qualms…Today you cry “My pikin na thief! My pikin na thief”. Tomorrow, “Why nobody want give my pikin work?” Do not be fantastically surprised when it becomes increasingly difficult to attract investment for your ideas and businesses. Fantastically understand when that visa application is denied for no apparent reason. For those of you overseas, fantastically endure this shit from Nigerian government. But the day of reckoning is coming when everyone else suddenly becomes alert to the location of their possessions at the mention of your nationality…then my people will sing a ALL HAIL BIAFRA…THE LAND OF FREEDOM!!! This is the sole reason Mumumadu Buhari is scared and is trying to play along with Cameron…doesn’t want to appear or be seen to offend the British government at this critical time of Biafra emancipation. Buhari has to suck with the huge insult from Cameron… solely because Buhari seriously believes that Britain shall lend him and his Arewa group the tactical, and possibly, military support, to crush any secessionist groups from the restive groups in the south of Nigeria. Buhari has no intention of reforming Nigeria’s political structure and administrative system that now benefit only his Arewa groups…the only reason u will never find any Hausa Fulani person criticize him even if Nigerian state collapse into the abyss by Buhari leadership. Watch all the Hausa Fulani in the social media and everywhere…giving 100% support to the dullard. Buhari believes his Arewa conquered parts of south of Nigeria for keeps forever. Has anyone noticed this that Nigeria is not at war with any neighboring countries – but Buhari has signed military pacts with more than six neighboring and overseas countries since he came to office? The fear of Biafra…The fear of Niger Delta Republic! Only a mugu would believe that military force can keep a country like Nigeria one for long. Buhari and Arewa co travellers…the world is watching you guys!

  44. Anthony Omohwovo, wetin dey happen wey you come dey put like for this kind post? I beg nor let Buhari vex for you ooh!

  45. 1 litre of fuel in the UK is $1.87 , out of interest how much is a litre of fuel in Nigeria ?

  46. Mr falana, we are waiting for your actions as you did in 2012 not advice or is this not democracy anymore?
    Aren’t we sit and negotiate with the government anymore?
    WE ARE WATCHING

  47. Larry no be say the increment bad,but na the time and them for allow the thing to fix himself by opening the market for people to import.

  48. Removing of subsidy is long due,due to d bad economy inherited frm d last administration;lets bear it in mind dat for any nation that nid to build a solid,stable nd flourish economy foundations,must first make sacrifice for a while

  49. APC = All Promises Cancelled. You can’t rule successfully on theory. Now reality dawns on them all. Where is nemesis?

  50. MR FEMI,GIVE US ALTERNATIVE TO DEREGULATION AND STOP MAKING NOISE

  51. I rate this govt, very low because itz directionless , cruel and lost. Itz far better to be a slave under the colonial masters than to be a free born under Buhari’s administration.

  52. I no longer believe these double-speaks. Let them do whatever pleases them. Day of reckoning shall surely come.

  53. Baba falana epa enu yin mo sir. we’re you not part of them in 2012?

  54. HE IS A FOOL WHO REPEATS THE SAME PROCESS AND EXPECT DIFFERENT RESULTS. SUBSIDY HAS NEVER HELPED NIGERIAN MASSES. LET’S TRY AN ALTERNATIVE PROCESS. I WILL BE HAPPY TO BUY FUEL AT 145 IF GOVT WILL USE THE SAVED #1 TRILLION For DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMMS. WE HAVE TO PRIORITIZE OUR NEEDS.

  55. Does Femi Falana has an intergrety?. Chief Gani Faweyimi sun re ooo

  56. Who? Falana? Has he woken up from his coma?

  57. Paying lipservice he should comeout from his confort zone and lead the way ok,

  58. Nobody is ready for any protest.

  59. The removal of oil subsidy have became so imperative because the present have no enough money and cannot afford to keep enriching some few cabals at the expense of over 160 million nigerians

  60. Oga Falana, please get a life and stop confusing the ignorant. You are not sincere to yourself. It’s inly a sound bite. PMB should the money from subsidies to loan to state governments to meet their salaries. This government should be supported. This President means well and should be supported.

  61. Even promised to bring pump price back to 60 naira but today is 145 liars.

  62. Apc – All Promise Cancel

  63. mr falana, when you supported you are fantastically corrupt as you concord Buhari’s acceptance, I began to think if you are with your sense of reasoning but your recent comments on this subsidy removal and an increase of fuel pump price from #86:5 to #145 made me to change my mindset about you. pls if need be, join us to deny the accusation from mr Cameroon who did not know that his country is the most fantastically corrupt country since it is the country where corrupt wealth are kept thank you

  64. Oga is not just speaking English and mobilize ppl for a protest, it is the only language they hear acceptable in such condition all over the world

  65. Enough of those grammar, get to streets d way u did in 2012,no grammar pls action or re u afraid too.God bless Nigeria

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