Human rights organisation, Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN) has called on the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno to set up a taskforce that would go round the state to check any filling station that is using the fuel subsidy removal to cause economic hardship for the people.
Ever since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy on Monday, May 29, there has been an artificial fuel scarcity of the product while the few marketers dispensing, do so between N550- N650 per litre in the state.
The Akwa Ibom CHRAN Chairman, Otuekong Franklyn Isong in a press conference in Uyo on Thursday urged the governor to empower the taskforce to deal decisively with anyone hoarding the product or selling at unbearable rates.
He recommended that the team which is expected to comprise members of the press, civil societies, civil defence, police and the DSS should go ahead to seal off any station hoarding fuel or selling above the approved pump price and the remaining fuel dispensed to motorists.
He said, “We call on the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno to put up a committee that will go round to check any filling station that is cashing into the unfortunate situation to cause economic hardship for the people. Such filling stations should be sealed off so that it serves as a deterrent to others. I know other states can revert to normal prices but Akwa Ibom state will not.
Isong explained that the pronouncement of the President on fuel subsidy removal was premature, insisting that subsidy in the 2023 budget runs till June 30.
“There is a provision made for the 2023 budget that subsidy would run up to the 30th of June. The President’s policy statement in his inaugural speech has today caused economic chaos in the country. That statement has resulted in economic hardship, the pump price has skyrocketed to N550, that is if you even see the fuel to buy.
”Food commodities and transportation have gone high. Transport as of two days ago from. Eket to Uyo was 700, today it is 1500 that is if you will see a vehicle to enter. A bolt ride from Ewet housing estate to Aka road was 400, now it is 1000. A bag of garri after the announcement just increased with 10,000 from the existing exorbitant price. It is sold at 48,000.
”Garri which is the commonest commodity is even more expensive than the N30,000 minimum wage of a civil servant. CHRAN is calling on Mr president to address the issue.”