By Tonia Okereke
The House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously adopted a motion sponsored by the member representing Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State,
Rep. Chike John Okafor, on the need to probe the outrageous rise in the price of diesel and cooking gas.
Following the adoption of the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) and Gas Resources to investigate the crippling rise in the prices of diesel and cooking gas in the country.
The committees are to report back to the House six weeks for further legislative action.
Leading the debate on the motion, Okafor noted that the hike in price of both essential commodities have caused families untold hardship even as businesses are struggling to survive.
He called for the intervention of the Green Chamber as the complaints from Nigerians was too painful to ignore.
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.”
With this Legislative Investigation, Hon. Chike Okafor has ensured that the inexplicable rise in cost of living due to rise in Diesel and Cooking gas in Nigeria would be brought to an end soon.