- The federal government of Nigeria has removed subsidy on fuel to sell for N145 per litre
- This has caused a lot of stir in the country among Nigerians
- Senator Mao Ohabunwa has share his views on the increase in fuel price
Following the increase in fuel price, Senator Mao Ohabunwa representing Abia north senatorial district, on Thursday, May 13, said he supports a total deregulation of the downstream sector.
He said although he is an advocate of deregulation, this government did not provide an alternative for citizens.
He said there should be no need for price cap as it should be the market that will determine the price of fuel.
"I cant understand if it is increase, regulation or deregulation, I am an advocate of deregulation, I have always said that it is important for the market forces to determine the price but every deregulation should have a human face because the function of government is the welfare of the people.
"So even if you want to regulate or deregulate, you must know what time to do it, when it would not bring hardship on the people.
"If you look around you see hardship, and if you increase the price of fuel at this time it means you are increasing hardship," he said.
He added that when issues that affect the people, there should be discussions, negotiations where all stakeholders sit together to rub minds.
Ohabunwa said the parliament is a representative of the people and lawmakers should have been carried along effectively so that they will know what to tell the people.
He however, kicked against the timing of the current removal of fuel subsidy, which skyrocketed the pump price of petrol from N86.5 to N145 per liter.
He said that in the remote areas where petrol had been selling for over N150, the new price would give the marketers leverage to further increase their prices.
He said it should have been left at deregulation and people should import and sell at the price that best suits them to make profit.
"I do not even know what to call this one, because if you want to deregulate, you do not have to put a price cap because with the price cap, you have created more problem.
"As an advocate of deregulation, it should come when you think it could cushion the effects of other problems.
"Now that you said N145, it means you can get it at that price in Abuja and Lagos but outside those you cannot get it at N145 which means you have even increased our problem.
"If you want to deregulate then deregulate but again in deregulating, we should have looked at other indices and parameters especially the welfare packages that are available.
"Now prices will increase, transportation would increase, no power: it might be too hard for the common man and what is important to me is what will affect the people," he said.
He said if deregulation were allowed in 2012, by now we would have had stable prices and forgotten about deregulation as total deregulation is the only way out so that their would be competition like we have in other more developed countries.
The senator also queried the price cap saying that he had expected that the price would have been pegged lower considering that the cost of crude oil was at about $45 per barrel.
The federal government of Nigeria on Wednesday, May 11 removed subsidy on fuel and it will now start to sell for N145 per litre.
Until the removal, the official price of petrol was N87 per litre although consumers have been paying as much as N200 for fuel due to scarcity.
The removal in fuel subsidy has been a lingering issue since President Muhammadu Buhari took over power.