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House to investigate hike in prices of diesel, gas

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the rise in the cost of diesel and gas to cushion the effects on Nigerians.

This was sequel to a motion by a member from Imo State Chike Okafor at the plenary.

The lawmaker lamented the outrageous rise in the price of diesel as the product which was sold between N280 to N350 per liter three weeks ago is currently being sold above N780 per liter.

“It is still rising on a daily basis accounting for over 115.4 per cent increase within three weeks.

“Diesel was deregulated in 2009 with an initial price of 100 Naira per liter, and between 2009 till date, Nigerians have witnessed a rising percentage increase in the price of the product.

According to him, the hike in the cost of diesel is alleged to be the handiwork of unscrupulous stakeholders in the industry, and is tantamount to economic sabotage.

He expressed concern that the possible inflationary pressure envisaged from the rise in the cost of diesel could reduce consumers’ disposable income, thus making it impossible for average Nigerians to meet their basic needs.

Mr Okafor added that if the ugly trend is not checked, the multiplier effect will spell doom for Nigeria’s economy.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committees on Petroleum Resources (Downstream and Upstream), and Gas Resources to investigate the matter and report back within six weeks.

The speaker said the committees should find out reasons for the unexplained astronomical increase in the price of diesel with a view to ensuring that a reasonable price is fixed to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu, editing by Daniel Adejo.