NLC, PDP, LP Issue Stern Warning As World Bank Recommends N750/litre For Fuel

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NLC, PDP, LP Issue Stern Warning As World Bank Recommends N750/litre For Fuel

Nigerians are facing an increasingly challenging time following recent advice from the World Bank urging the Federal Government to reconsider raising the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The World Bank, in its latest development update titled ‘Turning The Corner,’ suggested that the government might still be shouldering the costs of fuel subsidy removal initiated by President Bola Tinubu in May 2023.

According to the World Bank’s Lead Economist for Nigeria, Alex Sienaert, the current fuel price in Nigeria does not reflect the actual costs, advocating for an upward revision to around N750 per litre, significantly higher than the current N650 being paid by Nigerians.

During a presentation in Abuja, Sienaert highlighted that, considering the official exchange rate, the price of petrol should ideally be N750 per litre.

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“It appears that petrol prices are not fully responding to market conditions, hinting at a potential return of the subsidy… assuming importation is based on the official FX rate,” stated Sienaert. “We believe the price of petrol should be around N750 per litre, surpassing the current N650 per litre paid by Nigerians.”

This advice comes amid severe hardships faced by the country after the removal of fuel subsidies earlier this year. The abrupt increase in pump prices from N195 to as high as N577 in May had immediate cascading effects, raising the cost of essential goods and services, particularly staple foods, making life significantly burdensome for average Nigerians.

The recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics indicated a rise in Nigeria’s food inflation to 32.84% in November, further exacerbating the challenges for the populace.

However, stakeholders, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and others, have vehemently opposed the World Bank’s advice, citing insensitivity to the current economic situation and the potential further impoverishment of the masses.

NLC spokesman Beson Upah criticized the World Bank’s detachment from the realities on the ground, condemning the proposed increase as a trigger for chaos, highlighting that the current fuel prices had already inflicted significant damage on the country.

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Similarly, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, attributed Nigeria’s economic woes to advice from international financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, asserting that the proposed increase in fuel prices lacked consideration for the populace’s welfare.

Dr. Yunusa Salisu Tanko, Chief Spokesperson for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, criticized the World Bank’s suggestion, considering it an attempt to perpetuate neo-colonialism in African countries. He emphasized the necessity for creative leadership and proposed building refineries across Nigeria’s geopolitical zones as a more sustainable solution.

In contrast, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Mathew Adah, expressed confidence in President Tinubu’s ability to navigate the situation, urging patience from Nigerians as the government works toward stabilization.

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