On Wednesday, the House of Representatives declined a motion to halt the rise in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and revert to the previous price of N537 per liter.

Instead, the House decided to initiate an investigation into the sudden price hike of premium motor spirit and the subsequent increase in transportation fares nationwide.

The House directed its committee to propose mitigating measures that could alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians.

Recognizing that they have already committed to investigating the price increase, the House determined that suspending the price hike would preempt the work of the investigative committee.

In response to an urgent public motion brought forth by Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, the House requested the presence of the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, and oil marketers before an ad hoc committee.

Their purpose would be to provide an explanation for the price increase.

Additionally, the ad hoc committee is tasked with devising strategies to ensure the effective distribution of palliatives to Nigerians, aiming to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal.

Ugochinyere stated that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), specifically section 88 (1) and (2), grants authority to the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the actions of any entity responsible for implementing or administering laws established by the National Assembly.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021, under Section 32, assigns the responsibility of regulating and monitoring technical and commercial midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria to the Petroleum Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority.

According to Ugochinyere, on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023, petrol marketers unilaterally increased the Petrol Pump Price from N537 to N617 without consulting the relevant government agencies.

He expressed deep concern that given the existing socio-economic challenges faced by Nigerians, such a fuel price hike would intensify the suffering and hardship endured by the Nigerian people.

By Chinedu

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