December 6, 2014 – Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola today said there is no basis for the Federal Government to continue to sell Premium Motor Spirit(PMS) otherwise called fuel to Nigerians at N97 per litre when international price of oil has declined to $66.27 per barrel.
Fashola made the statement while addressing hundreds of youths at the Lagos State IGNITE Employability Project 5.
He lamented that Nigerians were not receiving fair treatment from the central government like others in oil producing nation.
“Now we should be enjoying cheap fuel if the price of oil has dropped globally. And even as we import the product, a major component has reduced in price. While this has reduced, the pump price of fuel in the country still remains the same. Then something is wrong. If the price increases in the country when the price of oil goes up globally, then it should also reduce when the price of oil drops.
“I understand that I am not an economist; they (Federal Government) are the economist. But I have some logic and common sense to ask critical questions. For instance, if one buy flour at N10 per kilogram, and the bread was sold at N1 per loaf. If the price of flour drops, the price of the bread should also change,” Fashola added.
The governor said that the President Goodluck Jonathan led administration should follow the footstep of other countries that have reduce the pump price of oil products for their citizens.
Explaining how the oil sector would have addressed the unemployment challenges, He said “If we are trying to build refinery with Dangote in LFZ, Epe; and the construction alone would require 8, 000 workers. It means that they must get to work and back. So there is need for transportation service. There is need for food. And other services during work. And post construction.
“So if we stop importing fuel, and start building refineries and doing other right things. The economy will lift. If you build a gas grid for the country and rough estimate indicated that investing $5 billion, many businesses will began to get gas and some of the power installation can also convert to gas and others, there would be sudden positive effect on the country’s economy.
“We will not be here talking about youth unemployment if the economy was doing well. There are so many businesses that are already shutdown today because either there was no power and the operational cost have made their product expensive. It has made it for many companies to succeed.
“From the maintenance contracts that we issue, 40 percent of those maintenance cost were spent on buying diesel. One could imagine what that fund would have done if power was constant. That is depressing,” he added.
Earlier, the Chairman of theAGDC, Mrs Ibukun Awosika said that the aim of the programme was created to address youth unemployment in the country especially in Lagos State.
“We have over the years partner with the state government and private organisations to create life changing solution for youths who have the certificate but lack qualities needed by employers. And since the partnership with the Lagos State government started, we have trained 1, 200 youths,” he said.