President Muhammadu Buhari Summons Kachikwu, NNPC GMD over clamour for fuel price hike - EazyFeeds

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Tuesday 6 September 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari Summons Kachikwu, NNPC GMD over clamour for fuel price hike

The Presidency has shut down the quest by for­mer Group Managing Directors (GMDs) of the Nigerian National Petrole­um Corporation (NNPC) and some independent marketers for another round of increase in the price of petroleum prod­ucts.
Indications that President Muhammadu Buhari is not favourably disposed to a new hike in the prices of petrole­um products, especially pet­rol, emerged on Monday af­ter he met with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resourc­es, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the NNPC Group Managing Direc­tor, Dr Maikanti Kacalla Baru at the State House, Abuja.

Buhari’s summon of Ka­chikwu and Baru is believed to have been prompted by the out­come of the meeting of the for­mer GMDs of the corporation in Abuja on Friday last week.
The former GMDs had called on the government to re­view upward the N145 per li­tre pump price of petrol on the grounds that it is no longer sus­tainable.
The ex-GMDs’ demand came less than four months af­ter the Federal Government on May 11, this year, increased the price of petrol from N86 to N145 per litre.
The action was greeted with rejection across board, following the rise in transport fares, price of food stuffs and other utilities. Nigerians are yet to recover from the hardship inflicted on them by the hike in fuel price.
The GMDs had argued that the current price is no longer in line with the prevailing econom­ic realities in the country, add­ing that the prevailing foreign exchange regime and landing costs of the product have negat­ed the N145 pump price.
But after the parley with Bu­hari, Baru, who refused to an­swer questions from State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, especially the recommendation of his prede­cessors, said there is “nothing like that.”
In fact, Baru refused to stop and take questions, but asked the reporters to direct their en­quiries to the Petroleum Prod­uct Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
When asked if fuel price hike was in the offing, he curt­ly replied:
“There is nothing like that. Go to PPPRA,” as he left the Vil­la.
Incidentally, Kachikwu, who is the immediate past GMD of NNPC, also parried questions when he emerged a few min­utes after and directed report­ers to meet Baru.
When pressed further on possibility of new fuel price hike, the minister said: “There is no move to that effect.”
Kachikwu’s Senior Techni­cal Assistant, Johnson Awoyo­mi, had represented him at the meeting of the former GMDs of NNPC, which was also attended by Dr Edmund Daukoru, Chief Odoliyi Lolomar, Dr Thomas M.A. John, Mr Lawrence Amu, Dr Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, Mr. Funsho Kupolokun, Dr Abuba­kar Lawal Yar’Adua and Dr Jo­seph Thlama Dawha.
Before then, oil marketers on August 8th, 2016 hinted that the pump price of petrol might increase from N145 due to the continued scarcity of foreign ex­change to finance the importa­tion of the commodity.
The government liberalised the petroleum downstream sector on May 11, 2016 and announced an increase in the pump prices of petrol from N86 to a maximum of N145 per litre.

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