The National Association of Nigerian Students has reacted to the increase in the pump price of petrol in the country.
According to the association, the persistent increment in petroleum product prices has brought untold hardship to all Nigerians, especially students of tertiary institutions.
A statement by the NANS National Secretary, Comrade Lukman Adebisi, called on the Federal Government to immediately announce a reversal of the pump price to N162 or risk the greatest student uprising from March 12, 2021, which it gave as ultimatum.
Adebisi said in the statement: “The persistent increment in petroleum pump price has brought untold hardship to all Nigerians especially students of tertiary institutions.
“The resultant effect of these unending increments has been the hyperinflation we have witnessed in this country which has affected the common welfare of the people.
“NANS can no longer pretend that everything is fine even when the majority of our students and Nigerians continue to suffer from the unending increment we have witnessed since the deregulation of the sector.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to immediately announce a reversal of the pump price to N162 or risk the greatest student uprising on Friday 12th March 2021.
“This is necessary to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians who have suffered from all angles in the last two years, especially since the deregulation of the sector.
“You will recall Nigerians have witnessed over 100% hike in electricity tariff since the scourge of Covid19 Pandemic and also a consistent increment in pump price.
“These increments are coming at a time other nations are doing everything humanly possible to relieve their citizens of the economic impact of the Covid19 pandemic.
“NANS Economic Advisory Committee noted that the recent increment is occasioned by the increment in the price of crude, lack of local capacity to refine, importation of petroleum products, devaluation of naira, taxes, import duties, and the challenges with import parity prices in the calculation of petroleum product landing cost.
“NANS, therefore, noted that the majority of these challenges would have died a natural death should our national refineries be functioning at full capacity.
“NANS also noted that since the government has failed in ensuring that we develop local capacity to refine, it is therefore important for the government to find alternative ways of making the product accessible to Nigerians at a considerable price.
“The government must intervene now to ensure that Nigerians do not continue to suffer from the negative effect of this increment.
“NANS believes that since the crude was benchmarked at $40 per barrel in the 2021 budget and the product is now sold at an average of $60 across all market, it is important for the Federal Government to use the excess in ensuring price stability of the retail price of petroleum products.
“We also wish to remind the Federal Government that many of our parents in many states of the federation still earn below the national minimum wage of N30,000 which in itself has become too low given the economic reality of this time.
“We will therefore be left with no alternative than to troupe out in our numbers across all states of the federation to protest this increment in petroleum pump price as our welfare, mobility, power, etc depend so much on the retail price of PMS.
“Also our attention has been drawn to the sabotage by some sponsored civil society organizations staging a pro-government campaign for government not to intervene in the price of petroleum products.
“This saboteurs do not represent the good interest of the people, at best they are traitors trading the collective interest of Nigerians and cooperating with enemy of the people to continue to oppress the masses and they shall have their day with karma.
“We call on the ministry of petroleum resources to through its various agencies like the PPPRA and others ensure that the price of PMS is reverted to its former price or the nation should brace up for national civil action from the National Association of Nigerian Students on Friday.
“Nigeria deserves reliefs, Nigeria students deserve reliefs and if we are not considered for any reliefs, life should not be made more difficult for us at this time of global health and economic challenges.
“We will stand up and fight for the welfare of our members as we reject this unending hike in the price of PMS.