The National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) has made a heartfelt appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, urging him to take decisive action to prevent an escalating and uncontrollable increase in petrol prices.
The association’s National Deputy President, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, conveyed this plea following an emergency meeting of the organization held in Lagos.
The urgency of the situation arises from concerns about the potential ramifications of a looming petrol price hike. NAPTAN is particularly worried about the economic strain this could place on families and students. The appeal takes root in the hope that President Tinubu will intercede to ensure stability in fuel prices.
In July, President Tinubu’s nationwide broadcast addressed the government’s commitment to monitoring the impact of exchange rates and inflation on gasoline prices. He assured the public that intervention would be undertaken as needed.
Against this backdrop, oil marketers recently projected an imminent rise in fuel prices due to the depreciation of the naira against the dollar. They indicated that as long as the dollar maintains its ascent against the naira in the foreign exchange market, fuel prices in Nigeria would continue to soar.
Adeolu Ogunbanjo emphasized that while NAPTAN acknowledges the removal of petroleum subsidies, the simultaneous unification of the naira’s value is contributing to economic hardship. Ogunbanjo’s appeal seeks to strike a balance by requesting a concessionary rate for petroleum importers in relation to the dollar. Such a measure, he believes, would create an environment in which the current fuel price in the country can remain stable.
“The removal of the petroleum subsidy we agree, align with it. However, unifying the naira at the same time is what is causing the hardship because anytime the dollar rises, fuel imports rise,” Ogunbanjo explained.
He also highlighted the critical timing of the appeal, considering that many parents are preparing for September, when school fees are due. Ogunbanjo expressed the plea of Nigerian parents, who are concerned that further fuel price hikes could exacerbate their financial challenges.
“About 60 per cent are parents; September is around the corner, where school fees will be paid, so the Nigerian parents are crying, begging and kneeling for Mr President to hear us. He should do everything possible to stabilize the fuel price and make the current pump price not higher than what we are buying now, as anything contrary will increase hardship,” he emphasized.*
This appeal underscores the pressing need for a balance between economic measures and the well-being of the citizenry, reflecting the broader concerns of Nigerian families and students.