The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned that there may be restiveness and agitation if the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its government attempt to further increase the pump price of petrol in the country.
The main opposition party has, therefore, admonished them to perish any thoughts of such a move.
The PDP took this position in a statement on Sunday by Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary, informing that it had been made aware of discussions and consultation in the APC and its administration for further increase of fuel price from the unbearable N170 to a higher figure.
It said: “Our party cautions the APC to immediately perish such contemplations as it would amount to pushing the already impoverished Nigerians to the wall; a situation that might result in public restiveness and acerbation of agitations in the land.”
The party lamented that Nigerians are groaning heavily under the weight of economic hardship and high costs occasioned by the unjustified increase in the price of fuel to an unbearable N170 per litre last November, adding that “any new hike might become the last straw that can break the camel’s back.”
According to the PDP, this is because there is no way citizens can survive a further fuel price increase with its attendant increase in the cost of goods and services, which will worsen the current agonizing economic situation, where over 90 million citizens live in abject poverty, with an alarming 23 per cent unemployment rate and many more living below N500 a day.
The party restated that the APC and its administration have no justification ever to increase fuel prices to even above N100 per litre, when there are practical options available to maintain affordable price template, given our national production capacity and potentialities.
It condemned “the bizarre attempt by the APC administration to compare our domestic fuel price to those of other countries where their governments are sincere and working hard in running productive economies that boost the purchasing power of citizens.”
The PDP further said: “With an official N30,000 federal monthly minimum wage, which represents a N1,000 daily wage, compared to a country like Saudi Arabia with monthly 3,000 Riyals; a daily 100 Riyals (N10,161) there is no foundation to base fuel price in Nigeria to that of Saudi Arabian where citizens earn ten times higher than their counterparts in Nigeria.
“It is therefore clear that the sordid increases in fuel price in Nigeria are products of nebulous indices coming from an incompetent and overtly corrupt APC administration under whose watch APC leaders had stolen over N15 trillion from our oil coffers and other national sources.
“Our party, therefore, rejects any contemplation towards fuel price increase but urges President Muhammadu Buhari to rather end the corruption in his administration, recover the stolen N15 trillion and seek help in evolving viable options for affordable price template, given our national production capacity and potentialities.”