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Coalition defends fuel, electricity tariff hike

The Coalition for a Better Nigeria has urged Nigerians to show understanding with the Federal Government following the recent fuel price and electricity tariffs hike.

The social-political organisation rationalised that the fuel price hike was the after effect of subsidy removal and implementation of full deregulation. However he also added that Nigerians, will benefit from it in the long run.

The group, in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Awa Bamiji, suggested that electricity tariffs hike could boost efforts towards the regular supply of electricity, which could in turn “rebuild our economy for the benefits of all Nigerians.”

It said: “Since the discovery of fuel subsidy frauds, we the civil society members have been advocates of fuel subsidy removal because we believe that it is the only way to block the financial leakages.”

“The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), last Wednesday announced a new depot price of N151.56k for PMS against the N138.62k announced in August, and this has led to an increment in the pump price to between N160 and N163 in filling Stations across the states.

“Unfortunately, this and electricity tariff hike by the Nigeria Electric Regulatory Commission (NERC) are coming at a time when people are struggling with economic difficulties created within the context of the COVID-19 economy, and the federal government appears resolute.”

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It added: “According to the government, the alternative is unstable supply of electricity and long queues at various filling stations, with a litre selling at exorbitant prices.

“We are now into full deregulation where the market will determine prices and this will prevent the return of subsidies and operators will recover their costs.

“In the long run, it will encourage investments and job creation.”

It noted that regardless of the economic effects of COVID-19, “Nigeria spent N1 trillion on fuel subsidy this year alone. Between 2006 and 2018, N10.63 trillion was the total subsidy paid by the Federal Government.

“The country has 60 per cent less revenue and can no longer afford subsidy. There is no provision for it in the 2020 revised budget, so subsidy must go to allow reasonable appropriation to the key sectors like education, health and infrastructure.”

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