The Transition Monitoring Group [TMG], a coalition of over 400 civic organisations working to promote democracy and good governance in Nigeria, stoutly rejects the N145 pump price of petrol imposed by Federal Government.
To say the least, this imposition portrays the government as insensitive, and out of touch with the daily unbearable plight of the ordinary Nigerian.
Coming at a time when the implementation of the recently signed 2016 Budget, is yet to take off, the hike in the face of groaning and pains, is ill-timed and badly advised.
It is tantamount to killing a willing horse to ask the Nigerian people, who are already carrying the heavy burden of the failure of governance over the years, to take on one more load of extreme economic hardship, as represented by the imposed price of petrol.
As a grassroots coalition, which has tried to rally patriotic support for the anti-corruption crusade and other government initiatives, which we believe would make the lives of Nigerians better…
We must stress that our support of the government is conditioned by the impact of its policies on the long suffering people of this country.
Our allegiance is to the Nigerian people, and whenever they come under the hammer blows of insensitive policies, we are duty-bound to speak up in defence of ordinary citizens.
As is the case with this latest hike, we must place it on record that it is absolutely anti-people.
TMG will join forces with Labour and other activists to resist this hike.
With the many economic woes afflicting the country, including job losses, massive unemployment and galloping-inflation, the least we expected the government to do was to give Nigerians a breather.
And, allow some form of recovery to take place through a stimulus package injected into the economy to rev it back to life before placing any further burdens.
To our utmost disappointment however, ordinary Nigerians have been hung out to dry, and left at the mercy of shylock fuel importers.
These importers who can mobilize funds to import petrol, but cannot invest in refineries, are the ones being given a free rein to exert profit from the blood and sweat of ordinary citizens.
The Nigerian people feel particularly let down by the unending flip-flopping of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu.
Kachikwu’s chameleonic pronouncements on the fuel situation over the past months, have left many Nigerians befuddled.
One minute he is declaring that refineries have started production, the next minute, he is telling the nation all manner of cock and bull stories about strategic reserves, and the effect of the activities of economic saboteurs.
We wonder why ordinary Nigerians would be made to bear the brunt of the crimes of economic saboteurs, whom government with all its might, is not ready to deal with.
This endless prevarication has kept Nigerians in the dark about the real issues in the oil and gas sector.
Kachikwu’s trumpeted move to unbundle the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation was touted by him as panacea to the issues in the oil and gas sector.
As it stands, it has all become motion, at the expense of real impact.
As if to add insult to injury, Kachikwu’s announcement of the hike failed to provide any road map towards ending importation of petrol, which is the root cause of the current crisis.
On the basis of these and many more indiscretions, TMG calls on Kachikwu to immediately throw in the towel, as he has serially demonstrated a lack of understanding of the issues in the oil and gas sector.
TMG calls on all Nigerians to reject this insensitive hike in the price of petrol, and prepare for mass action to send a clear message that this imposition cannot stand.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Comrade Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi
Chairman, Transition Monitoring Group