THE HIKE IN THE PRICE OF LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (COOKING GAS) AND ITS ATTENDANT HARDSHIP ON STUDENTS, NIGERIANS, AND THE CLIMATE – A CALL FOR URGENT INTERVENTION
In 2021 alone, we have seen over 120% increments in the price of cooking gas. This coupled with hyperinflation, hike in the price of petroleum products, hike in the price of electricity, and devaluation of naira which has resulted in skyrocketing in the prices of domestic goods. This development is imposing unprecedented hardship in the lives of students who have been overlooked from all the government initiatives to cushion the effect of the Covid19 pandemic.
Average Nigerian students rely solely on the cooking gas to feed and the recent trend in the price of the product is making life unbearable for many students and Nigerians.
I have received countless petitions and complaints from students calling for intervention and holding the government accountable for these hardships. I have also received videos of many students turning to firewood in their various hostels to be able to cook since the price of cooking gas is no longer affordable to students. This development is not only dangerous to the health and safety of our students and Nigerians, it is equally dangerous to the climate at this period the world is witnessing the very harsh effect of climate change and global warming.
As the umbrella body of all Nigerian students, home and in the diaspora, I am compelled by the hardship currently experienced by our members and Nigerians to address the press today to demand immediate government intervention in the price of the cooking gas as the students will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the price of the product is significantly reduced. We have investigated the cause of this astronomical increment and come to the understanding that the government through the Ministry of Petroleum Resources can do a lot in reducing the hardship currently experienced by Nigerians in this regard.
The introduction of 7.5% VAT on the product should be immediately reviewed, the completion of Train 7 which the NLNG claimed will increase local production by 35% must be prioritized, infrastructural and logistics deficit in the industry which is currently partly responsible for this hike in prices of the product must equally be addressed with immediate urgency in such a way that the effect will be felt on the consumer price immediately.
As an organization holding the trust and mandate of millions of Nigerians, we will not hesitate to take to the street anytime soon to demand immediate intervention that will result in the crashing of the price of the product. The Nigerian students have endured a lot of hardship, neglect from palliatives, and economic interventions of government as a result of the global pandemic, we have seen increment in various fees payable by students even at this period of economic hardship. However, now that our only source of energy for cooking is largely becoming unaffordable, we might be left with no alternative than to hit the street. Food is a basic necessity and when students can no longer cook and eat, it is a direct invitation to crises of national significance.
We therefore on behalf of all Nigerian students and Nigerians demand immediate actions towards crashing the price of LPG with immediate effect to avoid the wrath of Nigerian students.
We also reject any effort to increase the price of PMS under any guise and semblance as such will vehemently be rejected and radically fought against with the last blood in our veins.
Sunday Adedayo Asefon
The Revolutionary NANS President