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Price of petrol reduced to 97 naira per litre in Nigeria - President Jonathan address the nation
| January 16, 2012
In a national broadcast this morning, President Goodluck Jonathan announced a reduction in the price of petrol to N97 per litre from N141 per litre. This is higher than the old price of N65 per litre, which was increased on New Year's day to N141 per litre when the subsidy was removed. There have been protests in Nigeria since January 9, 2012 with Nigerians calling for the government to revert to the original price of N65. Addressing the nation, President Goodluck Jonathan spoke on the toll the change would have on Nigerians saying “Government will continue to pursue full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. Given the hardships being suffered by Nigerians and after due consideration and consultations with state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly, government has approved the reduction of the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been directed to ensure compliance with this new pump price,” The President's full speech read, “Dear Compatriots, this is the second time in two weeks I will address you on the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. In the last seven days, the nation has witnessed a disruption of economic activities. Although the economic imperatives for the policy have been well articulated by government, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) went ahead to declare a nationwide strike. There was also near-breakdown of law and order in certain parts of the country as a result of the activities of some persons or groups of persons who took advantage of the situation to further their narrow interests by engaging in acts of intimidation, harassment and outright subversion of the Nigerian state. I express my sympathy to those who were adversely affected by the protests. At the inception of the deregulation policy, government had set up the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee to liaise with Labour and other stakeholders to address likely grey areas in the policy, but despite all our efforts, Labour refused the option of dialogue and also disobeyed a restraining order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. However, following the intervention of the Leadership of the National Assembly, and other well-meaning Nigerians, Labour accepted to meet with government, but this yielded no tangible result. It has become clear to government and all well-meaning Nigerians that other interests beyond the implementation of the deregulation policy have hijacked the protest. This has prevented an objective assessment and consideration of all the contending issues for which dialogue was initiated by government. These same interests seek to promote discord, anarchy, and insecurity to the detriment of public peace. Government appreciates that the implementation of the deregulation policy would cause initial hardships and commends Nigerians who have put forth suggestions and credible alternatives in this regard. Government also salutes Nigerians who by and large, conducted themselves peacefully while expressing their grievances. Let me assure you that government will continue to respect the people’s right to express themselves within the confines of the law and in accordance with the dictates of our democratic space. Government will continue to pursue full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. However, given the hardships being suffered by Nigerians, and after due consideration and consultations with state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly, government has approved the reduction of the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has been directed to ensure compliance with this new pump price. Government is working hard to reduce recurrent expenditure in line with current realities and to cut down on the cost of governance. In the meantime, government has commenced the implementation of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment projects: including the Federal Government- assisted mass transit programme which is already in place, and job creation for the youth. Furthermore, the legal and regulatory regime for the petroleum industry will be reviewed to address accountability issues and current lapses in the Industry. In this regard, the Petroleum Industry Bill will be given accelerated attention. The report of the forensic audit carried out on the NNPC is being studied with a view to implementing the recommendations and sanctioning proven acts of corruption in the industry. Let me assure Nigerians that this administration is irrevocably committed to tackling corruption in the petroleum industry as well as other sectors of the economy. Consequently, all those found to have contributed one way or the other to the economic adversity of the country will be dealt with in accordance with the law. My dear compatriots, I urge you to show understanding for the imperatives of the adjustment in the pump price of petrol and give government your full support to ensure its successful implementation. I further appeal to Nigerians to go back to work and go about their normal duties as government has made adequate arrangements for the protection of life and property throughout the federation. Government will not condone brazen acts of criminality and subversion. As President, I have sworn to uphold the unity, peace and order of the Nigerian State and by the grace of God, I intend to fully and effectively discharge that responsibility. Let me add that we are desirous of further engagements with Labour. I urge our Labour leaders to call off their strike, and go back to work. Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must collectively safeguard its unity. Thank you. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

(5) Comment


Comments

"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
Kaycee    Columbus, OH, USA    January 26, 2012
It is always easy for the folks abroad, especially in the US, to agree with the removal of subsidy. It is warranted because it cost 40cents per liter, which comes to about $1.60 per gallon, compare to $3.50 per gallon over here. But in a country where almost 80% pf people live under $2 per day, the subsidy is really needed.

And for one of the 8 top oil producing countries in the world, there should be a perk for that. If Nigeria need to balance its budget and clean out it economic mess, it should start with the paychecks and allowances of our elected officials. Starting with GEJ, himself and work our way down, and we will be surprise to see how much will be recovered. If they are accountable with the oil revenue now, with visible social amenities for its citizens, then I may just be able to justify the subsidy removal. Because i do not see the reason why over 99% of population has to sacrifice and suffer while the "greedy and fortunate" 1% enjoy. just not fair. Let us look at what happened in Egypt and Libya last year.

We are gradually teetering a revolution. May God Bless and Protect our great Nation, Nigeria.
OMOTAYO, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    January 19, 2012
How did government arrive at N97 per litre? In Venezuela, it is $0.12 or N19.56 per litre (exchange rate: $1 = N163). Is Venezuela leadership daft and does not have theoretical economists? We shall revisit this issue with greater details later. God save Nigeria.
OBJ    Houston, USA    January 17, 2012
With all due respect, President Jonathan is a failed leader. He has been in this office for almost six months, and he is yet to take any positive step to direct the nation towards progress, rather the nation has regressed since the inception of his presidency. You don't have to be an economist or PhD to know that abrupt and arbitrarily increasing the cost of fuel by 117% without carefully analyzing the drastic negative impact on the economy is beyond comprehension.

It is very clear that this president has bunch of uneconomic, dumb, worthless, and above all unintelligent individuals as economic and political advisors. All they know is how to steal from the government and enrich themselves. A high school student that has taken the lowest level of economics will make a better decision than the leaders of our nation did. No wonder we are closer to Stone Age than civilization. We have someone as president with PhD, yet his decision making ability is lower than that of a high school student. Who awarded this man PhD? The university should be ashamed of the knowledge that they impacted in him. It does not worth the paper the degree was printed.

You don't have to be expert in any field to know that the turnaround of the economy of Nigeria depends on power supply, infrastructure such as quality highway system, sewage, water supply, land based telecommunication system etc, refineries, quality education, and quality healthcare system. Every Nigerian understands this; except our PhD president and his advisors. Where is the leadership? Mr. President, do us a favor and step aside so that someone with leadership acumen can take over and provide the leadership that this nation needs at this critical time. We are waiting for your urgent response. The die is cast.
Telema Harry    Warri, Nigeria    January 16, 2012
President Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan would rather pull down the whole arena with everybody, than go down alone. He runs a Government full of PHD holders who lack analytical knowledge of situations. If this is how PHD is, I'll rather stay with school cert.
Larry Jones    Columbus, Ohio, USA    January 16, 2012
He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. President Jonathan is fighting a good fight which past leaders did not have the willingness to fight. Corruption is the biggest problem in Nigeria. The oil sector is rottened and somebody needs to stand up in order to safe the future of the country. The government needs to continue to educate nigerians about the social economic benefits of withdrawing the remaining subsidy. However, the subsidy already withdrawn should be invested wisely to benefit ordinary nigerians. Most igerians are good people that will always appreciate the leaders that care for their needs.
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