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THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good offices to immediately reverse the increase in the pump price of petrol from N143.80 per litre to N121.50 per litre.
“We urge President Buhari to immediately reverse the proposed upward review of the retail pump price of petrol from N121.50 to between N140.80 and N143.80 per litre,” SERAP wrote on Twitter.
This follows the announcement on Wednesday by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) that the pump price of petrol has been reviewed upward from N121.50 to N143.80 per litre to reflect developments in the global crude oil market.
BREAKING: We urge President Buhari to immediately reverse proposed upward review of the retail pump price of petrol from N121.50 to between N140.80 and N143.80 per litre.
Increasing fuel price in the middle of COVID-19 is unfair, illegal and a grave violation of human rights.
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) July 1, 2020
Describing, the decision as a violation of the human rights of Nigerians, the group also stated that the timing for the rise in petrol price as the nation battled COVID-19 made it illegal.
“Increasing fuel price in the middle of COVID-19 is unfair, illegal and a grave violation of human rights,” it said.
The organisation also called on the leadership of National Assembly to move swiftly to stop and stop “this travesty and side with the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”
“Oil shouldn’t be a ‘curse’ for Nigerians; being endowed with natural resources ought to be a synonym for opportunities and development,” SERAP said.
On July 1, the PPPRA revealed in a circular to marketers stating that the decision was based considerations to the marketers’ realistic operating costs and prevailing market variables.
“After a review of the prevailing market fundamentals in the month of June and considering marketers’ realistic operating costs, as much as practicable, we wish to advise a new PMS pump price band of N140.80-N143.80 per litre for the month of July 2020,” the statement read.
In March, the Federal Government announced its first review of the petrol pump price per litre for the year from N145 to N125 per litre.
On April 1, the PPPRA, through, Abdulkadir Saidu, its Executive Secretary announced that all retail petrol outlets should start selling at the new pump price of N123.50k and N125 per litre of petrol.
Oil retailers were to choose between two price bands of N121.50k and N123.50k at which they were supposed to sell to their customers.
The price review was necessitated by a drop in crude oil prices due to the spread of coronavirus as the landing cost of petrol hit a record low in March, while the petrol subsidy was temporarily removed.