Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, says Governors in the country lack the powers to fix petroleum prices.
He stated this on Friday evening while featuring on a PUNCH Live interview programme.
Recall that a committee set up by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum led by Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, recommended a petrol price of between N408.5 per litre and N380 per litre. It also called for the immediate removal of fuel subsidy.
The proposed price which is over 200 per cent of the current pump price of petrol had been greeted with outrage as Nigerians took to social media to reject it while they also lamented the hardship in the country.
Speaking on the issue, Falana said, “With profound respect, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum as an entity, Nigerian governors in their individual capacities lack the powers to interfere in the fixing of the prices of petroleum products.
“Section 6 of the Petroleum Act which has not been amended provides that the Minister of Petroleum Resources shall fix the prices of petroleum in Nigeria.
“So, when you are told that the PPPRA, DPR, NNPC or Governors’ Forum or market forces are fixing the prices of petroleum products, they have abandoned the law.
“We have a situation where President (Muhammadu) Buhari has made himself the Minister of Petroleum Resources, illegally though. As usual, he doesn’t want to take responsibility for punishing the Nigerian people. So, he steps back and allows all manners of forces to fix petroleum products.”