07 December 2014, Lagos — Following the continued decline in global oil prices, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has asked the Federal Government to review downward the pump prices of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, from N97 per litre in the country in tandem with the slump in world oil price.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, had last Friday, on its website pegged the oil price at $66.27 per barrel.
Fashola who blasted FG for its reluctance to adjust the pump price of PMS, made the remarks while addressing hundreds of youths at the Lagos State and After School Graduation Development Centre, AGDC, IGNITE Employability Project 5, Ikeja.
He lamented that Nigerians were not receiving fair treatment from the central government like others in oil producing nation.
Fashola said, “Now we should be enjoying cheap fuel if the price of oil has dropped globally. Even as we import the product, a major component has reduced in price and while this has reduced, the pump price of fuel in the country still remains the same.
“Then something is wrong. If the price increases in the country when the price of oil goes up globally, then it should also reduce when the price of oil drops.
“I understand that I am not an economist; they (Federal Government) are the economists. But I have some logic and common sense to ask critical questions. For instance, if one buy flour at N10 per kilogram, and the bread was sold at N1 per loaf. If the price of flour drops, the price of the bread should also change,” Fashola added.
The governor, therefore, urged President Goodluck Jonathan led administration to follow the footstep of other countries that have reduced the pump price of oil products for their citizens.
Fashola noted that the oil sector of the country had not been improved to address challenges confronting the nation especially unemployment, saying “The economy is not doing well. Some of you (audience) are compelled to try to survive through whatever means.”
On how the oil sector would have addressed the unemployment challenges, he said. “If we are trying to build refinery with Dangote in Lekki Free Zone, LTZ, in Epe; and the construction alone would require 8, 000 workers. It means that they must get to work and back. So there is need for transportation service, there is need for food and other services during work and post construction.
“So if we stop importing fuel, and start building refineries and doing other things right the economy will lift. If you build a gas grid for the country and rough estimate indicated that investing $5 billion, many businesses will began to get gas and some of the power installation can also convert to gas and others, there would be sudden positive effect on the country’s economy.”
“We will not be here talking about youth unemployment if the economy was doing well. There are so many businesses that are already shutdown today because either there was no power or the operational cost have made their product expensive. It has made it for many companies to succeed.”
*Olasunkanmi Akoni – Vanguard