Wednesday’s approval of N51.58 as ex-depot price for a litre of petrol by the Petroleum Pricing Marketing Company (PPMC) has pitted the Federal Government against the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The minority caucus in the House of Representatives also kicked against the upward adjustment as marketers adjusted pump price from N148 to between N158 and N162 per litre.

But the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) defended the policy reminding the PDP that the pricing template reflects competitive and market-driven components, which it said enjoys the backing of Nigerians.

The APC urged the PDP to prevail on its members who looted the public till treasury to return their loots.

In a statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan, the PDP rejected the latest increase in litre price of fuel and the increase in electricity tariff which came into effect on September 1.

The party, which described the new price regime as callous and cruel, demanded the immediate reversal of the prices.

It warned the increase will push up costs of goods and services and worsen Nigerians economic situation.

The statement said: “Our party asserts that by increasing the price of fuel from the N87 per litre it sold under the PDP to an excruciating N151 while at the same time allowing the hike in electricity tariff from N30.23 per kwh to over N66, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has left no one in doubt that its agenda is to inflict pain and hardship on Nigerians to satisfy their selfish interests.

However, the APC berated the PDP over the latter’s unguided criticism of the current petrol price and electricity tariff in the country. It urged the PDP to wake up to the new Nigeria where the government works for the citizens not a few interests.

Reacting through Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, the APC described the pricing template as a reflection of competitive and market-driven components.

Nabena said: “The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to a shameless statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the current petrol price and electricity tariff in the country.

“For successive PDP governments that foisted on the country a corruption-tainted fuel subsidy regime, we call on the PDP to surprise itself and indeed Nigerians by cajoling its cronies who ran the subsidy rackets – many of them in hiding abroad – to return our stolen commonwealth in their possession.

“Under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the tortuous fuel queues as a result of biting scarcities are gone. The reviewed petroleum products pricing template has resulted in a more transparent, efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and also resulted in constant availability of fuel nationwide.

“The pricing template now reflects competitive and market driven components which is supported by the citizenry.”

On the new electricity tariff regime, the APC said: “In an effort by this administration to put an end to estimated and arbitrary billing for electricity, President Buhari recently directed a nationwide mass metering programme for electricity consumers in the country.

“For the PDP that is only concerned with pushing the interests of its few cronies over the general interest and welfare of the citizenry, we don’t expect the PDP to grasp the import of this landmark presidential directive which aside improving electricity and service delivery, is also protecting the poor and vulnerable Nigerians from increased electricity tariff and arbitrary/estimated billings.

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