Senator Gershom Bassey Opposes Governor’s Decision On N385 Pump Price



Senator Gershom Bassey, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, has warned state governors against lobbying for an increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as gasoline, at the pump.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum considered the findings of a committee led by Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, in their virtual meeting on May 20 and adopted its recommendation in favor of full deregulation of the petroleum industry.


The El-Rufai group is alleged to have recommended that the product’s pump price be roughly N385 per litre.

In an interview with our Abuja correspondent, Bassey urged both the federal and state governments to exercise prudence and ensure that any decision on gasoline was made with a human face.

“There are some realities in the petroleum business that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has been talking about for some time now,” the Cross River senator added.

“I believe that whatever those realities are, anything relating to the pricing of petroleum products must be addressed in a humane manner.

“We have a country where the quality of the naira’s worth is deteriorating. Despite the fact that the average Nigerian’s disposable income isn’t much, you’re talking about raising petrol costs. I believe the governors should take a humanistic approach to the problem.”

To mitigate the consequences of the price hike, the El-Rufai committee is claimed to have advised that the Federal Government purchase buses for mass transportation of Nigerians, among other palliatives.

The National Economic Council, led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, established the El-Rufai committee early this year.

Its mission was to investigate state revenue declines and give recommendations to the council.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and Mallam Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, are also members of the committee.

The report has been endorsed by the remaining 32 governors who are members of the NGF.

The El-Rufai panel briefed the NGF on the right pricing of petrol in Nigeria, asking for full deregulation, according to a communiqué issued after the meeting by the NGF.

According to the communiqué, the Federal Government was transferring between N70 billion and N210 billion each month to subsidise the fuel price, which was set at N162 per litre.

Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Rivers, and Abuja were listed as the top petrol consumers by the committee.


Senator Gershom Bassey Opposes Governor’s Decision On N385 Pump Price

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