A coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Friday vowed to resist an increase in the price of petrol as contemplated by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN.
The CSOs, in a statement jointly signed by the Convener, Dr Basil Musa and Co-Convener, Malam Haruna Maigida, in Abuja on behalf of others, said they had information that IPMAN was planning to increase petrol price to N700 per litre, a move which they vowed to resist by picketing IPMAN members’ filling stations across the country.
Others who signed the statement were officials of Oil and Gas Transparency and Advocacy Group, Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), Centre for Citizens Rights, Centre for Good Governance Advocacy and Action against Corruption in Nigeria, among several others.
They accused the IPMAN of running a parallel government and inflicting pains on ordinary Nigerians by their unilateral adjustment of price of petroleum.
They described the planned increment as unacceptable and called on the Federal Government to stop IPMAN from its alleged profiteering at the expense of ordinary Nigerians.
The CSOs said the move was an economic sabotage, coming at a time Nigerians are still trying to come out of the “price shock”, occasioned by the increment on May 29.
They said that Nigerians were already passing through difficult times after the recently adjusted fuel pump price with no palliatives measures yet in place. They vowed to mobilise their members and other stakeholders across the 36 states of the federation to embark on a protest, not ruling out shutting down filling stations nationwide.
They added that Nigerians could not afford to be railroaded by IPMAN, in alleged contraction of the position of Federal Government on petroleum pricing.
“As a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, we are monitoring events and the proposed fuel pump hike to N700 per litre by IPMAN and we say it is unacceptable.
“If government does not caution IPMAN, we see it as a deliberate collusion to drive Nigerians into unmitigated difficulties.
“As CSOs, we will not sit and watch that happen. We will mobilise Nigerians into a street protest and that should be taken from us.
“We watched the removal of fuel subsidy regime by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural address on May 29 and we take the dare consequences as part of sacrifice, awaiting when government would have settled to come up with ameliorative measures for the citizens.
“But for IPMAN to adjust fuel pump price will stoke protests because it is not in the interest of Nigerians,” the statement read.
They said if IPMAN achieved the proposed increase, it would translate to over 451 per cent above what the Tinubu Administration met in office, thereby raising the fear of hyper-inflation on cost of goods and services generally.
“IPMAN was largely behind the mystery litres of petrol consumption that suddenly dropped from 66 million per day to 40 million, after fuel subsidy was removed.
“We advise the marketers association to brace up for a change as sharp practices in the downstream sector can no longer be condoned,” they warned.