The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has accused the Tinubu-led government of subtly subsidising fuel despite denying the existence of any such scheme.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that John Kekeocha, the National Secretary of IPMAN, made the disclosure.
Kekeocha’s statement comes in the wake of a recent admission by Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), that the company has once again become the sole importer of fuel into the country due to foreign exchange unavailability.
“When the government removed the PMS (fuel) subsidy, a dollar was about N700, and they made us believe that the removal of subsidy would make the supply of products play according to the dictates of demand and supply, looking at forex as the benchmark,” Kekeocha said.
“Now, this is just simple arithmetic: if you removed the subsidy when a dollar was about N700, and today the dollar is more than N1,000, and you are still supplying and giving products at almost the same rate, what is the magic? They are subsidising products as we speak.”
Kekeocha further accused the government of “twisting facts” and “keeping Nigerians in the dark” about the true cost of fuel subsidy.
“They are spending billions of naira to subsidise products, and because they know that this country may go on fire if Nigerians buy products at about N1,000 per litre, they keep twisting facts. Why can’t they come out and tell the world the truth?” he asked.
Kekeocha also warned that the current situation is unsustainable and that the price of fuel could hit N800 per litre or more anytime soon.
“It is only subsidy that can keep the price of fuel at the rate that it is now at about N600 plus. Otherwise, any moment from now, the cost of a litre of fuel will be about N800/litre or more,” he said.
Recall that President Tinubu in May declared an end to petrol subsidy.