Reps to investigate hike in prices of diesel, cooking gas

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the rise in the cost of diesel and cooking gas with a view to cushioning the effects on Nigerians.

This is sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Chike Okafor (APC-Imo), at the plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Mr Okafor said that the Nigeria Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) was created in August 2021 in line with the Petroleum Industry Act.

He said that part of its mandate is to provide effective regulatory oversight, ensure sufficient product distribution and supply at an equitable and fair price.

According to him, almost all businesses and households in Nigeria depend on diesel-powered generators as an alternative source of electricity.

“The outrageous rise in the price of diesel shows that diesel which was sold between N280 and N350 per liter three weeks ago is currently being sold above N780 per litre.

“It is still rising on a daily basis accounting for over 115.4 per cent increase within three weeks.

“Diesel was deregulated in 2009 with an initial price of N100 per litre, and between 2009 and date, Nigerians have witnessed a rising percentage increase in the price of the product.

“The hike in the cost of diesel is alleged to be the handiwork of unscrupulous stakeholders in the industry, and is tantamount to economic sabotage.

“The hike is causing untold hardships to Nigerians as it will result in an increase in prices of food as well as other goods and services.

“Worried that the possible inflationary pressure envisaged from the rise in the cost of diesel could reduce consumers’ disposable income, thus making it impossible for an average Nigerian to meet their basic needs,” he said.

Mr Okafor said if the ugly trend is not checked, the effect will spell doom for Nigeria’s economy.

In his ruling, Speaker of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the committees on petroleum resources (downstream and upstream), and gas resources to investigate the matter and report back within six weeks.

He said that the committees should find out reasons for the unexplained astronomical increase in the price of diesel with a view to ensuring that a reasonable price is fixed to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.



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