A coalition of civil society groups on Friday vowed to mobilise Nigerians to the streets if the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) increased fuel pump price to N700 per litre.
The coalition, which comprises all civil society organisations nationwide, was reacting to the planned increment of fuel pump price from government-approved N538 per litre to N700, stating that the development was pure mischief and sabotage, even as Nigerians are trying to come out of “price shock” occasioned by the increment on May 29, 2023.
To drive home their anger, they declared that filling stations that sell fuel above the government-approved price would be picketed.
This was contained in a joint statement issued by the convener of the coalition, Dr Basil Yelwa Musa, Malam Haruna Maigida, the co-convener, and Ayo Temi Adebayo, among others, on behalf of the group.
The coalition said it would mobilise its members and other stakeholders across the 36 states of the federation to embark on a protest beginning on Monday, July 3, 2023.
The coalition, consisting of Oil and Gas Transparency and Advocacy Group, Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development, Centre for Citizens Rights, Centre for Good Governance Advocacy, and Action Against Corruption in Nigeria, among others, called on the government to call IPMAN to order, stressing that Nigerians are already watching and wallowing in difficulty over the recently adjusted fuel pump price with no palliative measures yet.
They insisted that IPMAN has no statutory power to adjust fuel pump prices, noting that any such move would be resisted at all costs.
According to the statement: “If government derelicts in cautioning the IPMAN, we see it as a deliberate collusion to drive Nigerians into unmitigated difficulties, and as CSOs, we will not sit and watch that happen. We will mobilise Nigerians for a street protest, and that should be taken from us.
“We watch the removal of fuel subsidy regime by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his inaugural address on May 29, 2023, and we take the dire consequences as part of the sacrifice awaiting when government would have settled to come up with ameliorative measures for the citizens, but IPMAN’s decision to adjust fuel pump price will stoke protests because it isn’t in the interest of Nigerians.”
The coalition argued that if the proposed increase in pump price is actualised, it would amount to over 451% above what Tinubu’s administration met.
The coalition further accused IPMAN of being behind the mysterious drop in petrol consumption from 66 million litres per day to 40 million after the removal of fuel subsidy.
They advised the oil marketers association to brace for a change as sharp practices in the downstream sector can no longer be condoned.