Monday, January 16, 2012

Govt cuts petrol price to N97 .

16 January 2012

Govt cuts petrol price to N97 .
 .To prosecute culprits of fraud

“AFTER due consideration and consultations with state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly, government has approved the reduction of the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre,” President Goodluck Jonathan said this morning.

He disclosed this in his second address to the nation in two weeks on the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

The measure which led to the removal of the contentious fuel subsidy and engendered a rise of the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) or petrol from N65 to more than N140 precipitated, since last Monday, a disruption of economic activities nationwide following a strike and protests called by Labour and its civil society allies.

Various talks held at different levels in search of a solution were deadlocked as both sides apparently did not shift grounds and Labour decided to continue its action.

But yesterday evening before Jonathan unfolded the new N97 price, he held an emergency meeting with governors and some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Governors in attendance included those of Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Imo, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Cross River, Kogi, Sokoto, Edo, Enugu, Delta, Rivers, Ebonyi, Delta, Nasarawa, Oyo, Ogun, Niger, Taraba, Zamfara, Lagos, Gombe, Kebbi, Plateau and Jigawa.

Others in the meeting were Vice President Namadi Sambo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim. The Ministers participating included Finance (Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala), Petroleum Resources (Deziani Alison-Madueke), Labour and Productivity (Emeka Wogu) and Information (Labaran Maku).

He was also billed to meet again with Labour leaders last night and make a nationwide broadcast afterwards.The meeting between Jonathan and the governors ended at about 8.50 p.m. Midway into the meeting, they were joined Senate President, David Mark, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate Leader, Ndoma-Egba.

The President, had after the wreathe-laying ceremony marking the end of the 2012 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the National Arcade, Abuja retired to his official residence. He was later joined by Defence and security chiefs in a meeting.

Those in attendance at the meeting included the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, Chief of Defence Staff (Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin), the Service Chiefs – Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika (Army), Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim (Navy) and Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar (Air Force) and the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim.

It was after the meeting with the security chiefs that he moved to the Council Chambers of the Villa where the parley with the governors took place.

A two-day break from the ongoing strike over increase in the prices of petroleum product declared by Labour ended yesterday.

Also Mark summoned a meeting over the issue in his residence yesterday. At the meeting were Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Peter Obi of Rivers and Anambra states as well as Anyim, Alison-Madueke and Nwogu.

Speaking after the meeting, Amaechi expressed confidence that a solution would soon be found to the problem.

He said: “I believe that solutions would be found to the strike. I believe that we are at the verge of finding a solution to it....

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