TUC urges FG to reduce pump price of diesel, kero


CHAIRMAN, Trade Union Congress, Rivers chapter, Chika Onuegbu, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to reduce the price of diesel to N70 per litre.

   Onuegbu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt that the current price of N155 to N160 price of diesel per litre was hurting operations of small and medium size businesses in the country.

   ‘’ We commend government for reducing the pump price of petrol from N97 to N87. We commend them because it is a move in the right direction. But we will want to ask, why has this reduction not affected diesel.

   ‘’If diesel is truly deregulated as government has made us to believe, then we should be selling diesel in the Nigerian market at the actual rate that it should be selling at N70 per litre,’’ he said.

   Onuegbu said majority of Small and Medium scale businesses use diesel to power their plants.

   He also said people in the haulage business used diesel to transport goods to different parts of the country.

   ‘’Small industries or organisations that employ between 10 to 20 people, all use diesel and when you reduce the price of diesel, you reduce their cost of business and cost of production. It helps them support the economy, recruit more people and reduce employment in the country,’’ he said.

  According to Onuegbu, if the price of diesel is not reduced, the cost of haulage will not be reduced and it will affect those doing the business.

   In Minna, Motorists decried the non-enforcement of the new pump price by the independent marketers in Niger.

   The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some independent marketers sold petrol at N97, while the major ones sold at the new price of N87.

   At Musbashar Investment, an independent outlet, Malam Saleh Sarki, who had come to fill his car, wondered why they were yet to start selling at the new price two days after the directive.

   “I don’t know why these people are still selling at the old price more than a day after it was reduced by government,” he said.

 Another motorist, Alhaji Ibrahim Sani, called on government to do more to ensure enforcement of the new price regime by independent marketers.

   “The independent marketers are still selling at the old price. Does it mean government has no control over them or what?

  “Government must step in quickly and do more in the area of enforcement of the new price system because N10 means a lot,” he added

   A taxi driver, Bala Manu, appealed to the independent marketers to sell at the new price, adding that N10 reduction meant a lot for businesses that depended on fuel.

   However, an official at one of such stations still selling at N97 who preferred anonymity, told NAN that it was yet to effect the price change because of ‘old stock’ which they were still having.

   He said the station would incur great loss if it sold the old stock at the new price, adding that the latest price was starting when new stock was received.

    In kwara, motorists in llorin said all filling stations in the town still dispensed petrol at N97 per litre, in spite of reduction in pump price to N87 by the Government.

   Some of the motorists described the action of owners of filling station as cheating.

   They observed that the pump price would be adjusted immediately if there was any increase in pump price of petrol.

   The motorists called on the Federal Government to compel filling stations to abide by the new official rate.

   Reacting, the Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (lPMAN) in Kwara, Alhaji AbdulRasheed Olopade, said members wouldl continue to sell at the old rate until they got new stock.

   He said the dealers paid the old rate to the bank which could not be refunded.

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