NNPCL decision to fix price of petrol illegal, contemptuous – Falana
The Chair, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Femi Falana (SAN) has said that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) does not have the power to fix price for premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol.
Falana in a statement, said that government decision to fix new prices for petrol on Tuesday was an affront to the rule of law, illegal in every material particular and contemptuous
He said: “Having liberalised the petroleum sector, the NNPCL lacks the power to fix the prices of petroleum products in any part of Nigeria.
“It is high time that the NNPCL was restrained from further fixing the prices of petroleum products in the country”.
Falana pointed out that the NNPCL is no longer an agency of the Federal Government but a limited liability company which is regulated by the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority in charge of the petroleum industry.
He said the action of the NNPCL has confirmed that the company has continued to exercise monopoly in the importation and distribution of petrol in the country contrary to the letter and spirit of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.
Falana recalled that the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his inauguration address on May 29, 2023, announced that his administration would govern the country in accordance with the rule of law.
He said the implication of this commitment is that the actions of the government and its agencies will be carried out under the law.
He said Nigerian were taken aback on Tuesday when the NNPCL increased the pump price of petrol from N500 to N617.
He noted that after increasing the price, the NNPCL turned round to claim that it was fixed by market forces.
“It is submitted that the increase of the pump price of petrol by the NNPCL is is an affront to the rule of law on the ground that it is illegal in every material particular”, he submitted.
He further said the action of the NNPCL is contemptuous in view of a subsisting order of a Federal High Court restraining the NNPCL from fixing petrol prices.