ABUJA — Lawmakers in the lower chamber of the National Assembly have expressed worry over the outrageous rise in the cost of diesel and cooking gas, launching an investigation into the cause.
Presenting the motion at the plenary on Tuesday, Hon. Chike John Okafor, (APC, Imo State) lamented the outrageous rise in the price of diesel, as the product which was sold between N280 to N350 per liter three weeks ago is currently being sold above N780 per liter and still rising on a daily basis accounting for over 115.4 percent increase within three weeks.
The motion reads, “The House notes that the Nigeria Mainstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) was created in August 2021 in line with the Petroleum Industry Act with the mandate to provide effective regulatory oversight, ensure sufficient product distribution and supply at an equitable and fair price.
“Also notes that almost all businesses and households in Nigeria depend on diesel-powered generators as an alternative source of electricity.
“Further notes the outrageous rise in the price of Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) as the product which was sold between N280 to N350 per litre three (3) weeks ago is currently being sold above N780 per litre and still rising on a daily basis accounting for over 115.4 per cent increase within three weeks.
“Concerned that diesel was deregulated in 2009 with an initial price of 100 Naira per litre, and between 2009 till date, Nigerians have witnessed a rising percentage increase in the price of the product;
“Also concerned that 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, causing untold hardships for 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 average Nigerians to meet their basic needs.
“Cognisant that if the ugly trend of the increasing price of diesel is not checked, the multiplier effect will spell doom for Nigeria’s economy.”
The motion was supported by the majority when put to a voice vote and eventually adopted.
Consequently, the House mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Petroleum Resources (Upstream), and Gas Resources to investigate the unexplained astronomical increase in the price of diesel with a view to ensuring that a reasonable price is fixed to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.
The Committees were given a time frame of six weeks by the House to conclude the assignment and report back for further legislative action.
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