The National Association of Nigerian Students has warned the Federal Government against inflicting further pains on the suffering masses with the incessant increase of the pump price of petrol in the country.
The students have accordingly threatened to shut down the nation’s economy through massive civil disobedience should the government contemplate increasing pump price in the foreseeable future going by the speculations making the round.
NANS Senate President, Comrade Chuks Innocent Okafor, speaking at a news conference on Sunday, in Abuja, vowed that Nigerian students would vehemently resist any attempt to increase the pump price of fuel at this time of immense suffering, especially students from poor homes.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the prevalent and unwarranted increase in tariffs and cost of products and services rendered by agencies that are directly under the control of the federal government of Nigeria.
Okafor lamented that over the last few years, this current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has facilitated and implemented an increase in the cost of purchasing petroleum products in the country, saying this has badly affected the lifestyle and living conditions of virtually every Nigerian except the elite class and their benefactors.
He said: “Each time there is an increase in the pump price of petroleum products, most especially the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the costs of transportation, food items and other essential products, materials and services skyrockets.
“This constant unprecedented increase in prices at the expense of the average Nigerian citizens who are struggling under intense pressure to survive due to an unbearable harsh national economy has made their lives suffocatingly worse.
“It is even more worrisome that despite the fact that the majority of Nigerians are very poor, jobless, and most workers earning below basic minimum wage (which is in itself not even a living wage), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the NNPC out of their consistent insensitivity towards the plight of Nigerians decided to test the continued patience of Nigerians by attempting to increase the pump price of PMS from 165 to 212 per litre.
“We, therefore, wish to seriously warn that we will not hesitate to shut down the nation’s economy through massive civil disobedience should the government contemplate increasing pump prices in the foreseeable future.
“NANS wishes to state clearly that it will no longer fold her hands and watch the over 50 million of her members from primary to tertiary institution levels and the general populace suffer grossly from the prevalent insensitivity and policies of the government that is making life hard and unbearable for the average citizen of this country.
“NANS wishes to inform the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), PPPRA, and indeed the Federal Government that since they have now reversed to the last increased price, it should remain so because NANS under this current leadership through the help of its structures and organs around the country will resist any attempt by this government to further increase the cost of PMS,” he added.