Speaking at a press conference in Uyo on Wednesday, the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of the group, Otuekong Franklyn Isong said if the Federal government allows the local refiners to purchase crude oil with Naira and not Dollars and encourage them to refine locally, there would be abundance of petroleum products which would eventually crash the price.
Isong regretted that despite the abundance of crude oil in Nigeria, price of petroleum products continues to be astronomical with its effect on cost of commodities, adding that President Tinubu should as a matter of urgency, look into the plight of Nigerians.
He further regretted that millions of Naira were being spent on Turn Around Maintenance(TAM) of moribund refineries and workers who are dormant but paid monthly, and urged the Federal government to publish the list of those who received the subsidy from 1999 till it was removed on May 29, 2023.
While urging the organized labour not to allow the implementation of the rumoured impending increase in fuel price, he tasked them to lead a mass protest if the federal government goes ahead to increase the price.
According to him, “We have crude oil in this country, there is no basis for Nigerians to be experiencing petroleum price increase. We are experiencing this because we don’t refine our products. We depend on foreign exchange rate, the rise of the dollar against the Naira free fall.
“CHRAN wants the President, Bola Tinubu, to fix our refineries, support modular refineries to refine products locally. If they are able to buy the crude oil with Naira and not in dollars and refine, there will be availability of products and fall in price.
“The president should also ensure the activation of Compressed Natural Gas vehicles to address the issue of incessant petroleum price increase. Having removed the subsidy, you cannot continue to talk about market forces or allow the fate of Nigerians to be hanging on determination of market forces of what you don’t produce.
Isong also called on President Tinubu to constitute his cabinet, wondering why a president after 60 days in office is yet to set up his cabinet even after being cleared by the National Assembly.
He attributed the problems facing Nigeria to lack of people to advise the president.
“More than 60 days in office, the president has no cabinet in place? 45 of the nominees have been cleared so what is keeping them from being sworn in? As of now, we don’t know who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, or Minister of Labour. Who will address the issue of fuel increase, insecurity? and so on. Let his cabinet advise him on the issue of economy, insecurity etc. Robbery is on the increase, poverty is high because of one harsh policy of the federal government.” He said.