By Shorunke Tunde
The Independent Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has refuted the allegation of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) that oil marketers are exploiting Nigerians on the recent increase in the pump price of petrol from N121 to N143 per litre. IPMAN further acknowledged that the allegations are baseless because it can not be prooven by figures but mere speculation. NLC in its statement emphasised that federal government is complicating the pump price increase, called for immediate review of the action. They described the hike as exploiting Nigerians to enrich a few oil marketers.
Speaking with Nigerian NewsDirect, the President of IPMAN, Chinedu Okonkwo, said, “NLC should make allegation with figures not speculation and what happens is that what affect marketer A is what affect marketer B in the market.”If NLC is sure of what they are saying, they should be specific so that we don’t get into something they cannot comprehend because some marketers are even crying in a situation when you buy product at N133 and it drops to N125 which means we’ve lost money
“When the price now moves up, then you don’t have enough money to buy more products. Every marketer is feeling the hit one way or the other.”
Recall that Leaders of NLC have frowned at the recent increase in the pump price of petrol from N121 to N143 per litre, describing the hike as exploiting Nigerians to enrich a few oil marketers.
National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who accused the Federal Government of complicity in the price increase, called for immediate review of the action.
Wabba made the demand yesterday in Jalingo, Taraba State while answering questions from journalists shortly after paying a condolence visit to the family of the late chairman of the state chapter of the NLC, Peter Gambo.
“It is sad that the government at the national level has been aiding the oil marketers to enrich themselves at the detriment of the entire Nigerian population. The new pump price was not necessary. The price of crude oil in the international markets, which is the reason given by the oil marketers, has not increased in the recent times.”
The NLC boss, who wondered why the Federal Government has continued to inflict pain on the masses, said the current administration seemed to be protecting the oil marketers rather than defending the citizens.
“It is really unfortunate because when you leave this very important commodity to oil marketers, saying that the exchange rate has gone up, remember it is one of the issues we elected government to address. And if you say it is because of oil price which has also not gone up in the international markets, then this is double tragedy.”
Urging the government to urgently reverse it decision, Wabba said: “They cannot be robbing Paul to pay Peter. That is what is happening now. They are robbing Paul to enrich themselves and the oil marketers. It is not acceptable.”
The NLC president advocated good governance to address inequality and poverty rate in the country.
“We need good governance in Nigeria, that is why all of us need to come together to reject some of these obnoxious policies that are exploiting Nigerians. We will continue to engage the government, and very soon, we will roll out plans of what we will do to ensure that the right things are done.”