Apparently disturbed by the increase in the price of LPFO (black oil) and AGO (diesel) by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), the Kaduna branch of the Manufacturers Representatives Association of Nigeria (MRAN) has faulted the increase ,saying the increase is not in the interest of the masses.
The association is also of the opinion that the hike is capable of crippling many companies which deal in such products in the country, and will have a negative multiplying effect on the economy.
The PPMC had in a memo dated July 25, 2012 signed by the Depot Manager Kaduna, Shettima Bukar Imam and copied to all major marketers and IPMAN members among others, said that management of NNPC/PPMC had approved new Ex-Depot prices for AGO and LPFO as N126.30/Litre old price to N128.92/Litre new price for AGO, and N68.00/Litre old price to N85.91/Litre new price for LPFO.
The memo said the prices took effect from 24th July, 2012, adding that ex-depot prices of PMS, DPK as well as other special products remained unchanged.
However, the manufacturers in a petition addressed to the Presidency signed by their Chairman, Olushola Olabinri made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Tuesday described the sudden hike as shocking and arbitrary, calling on the relevant authorities to immediately reverse it.
In the petition which the association copied the Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Finance, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the manufacturers described the policy as draconian and superfluous because the brunt would be borne by the masses as the cost of production of various household consumables would increase drastically.
They said they had earlier in a similar letter written on the high cost of LPFO as most industries were folding up due to the high cost of the product, but to their greatest surprise they saw a memo for an up-ward review of the LPFO and AGO, and therefore appealed to the government to reconsider and return to the status quo.
"It should be noted that the price of crude oil in the international market is dropping every day, we do not therefore see the rationale behind this sudden increase. The government has consistently told us they want to bring down the price of cement but with this new increase of LPFO, cement manufacturers will be forced to increase the price as all the cement industries consume LPFO a lot."