The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has said that the recent increase in the price of petrol will affect residents of its communities most in view of their location.
The President of IYC, Peter Igbifa, said in a statement that residents in Ijaw communities were buying the product outside the regulated prices because of the unavailability of authorised fuel stations in their areas.
He said the government should have waited till the completion of some of the modular refinery projects, rehabilitation of moribund federal government-owned refineries and reviving of floating petrol stations in some waterways in the Niger Delta region before implementing such a decision.
Igbifa regretted that some floating petrol stations built by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to facilitate access to fuel in coastal Ijaw communities had been abandoned.
He said the price of petroleum products in such areas had become outrageous with the latest move by the federal government.
Igbifa added that the hitherto costly marine transport had quadrupled following the increase in fuel, adding that most residents in Ijaw communities could no longer travel to other cities to do businesses.
Besides, the IYC President said the development would seriously affect the government’s war against illegal refineries and their implications on the ecosystem.
He argued that with the increase, many people were likely to go into the business of crude oil refining to make petroleum products available to persons in the coastal communities.
Igbifa called on the federal government to allow the completion and operations of ongoing modular refinery projects before totally removing subsidy on fuel.
He also urged the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, to revive the existing NNPC floating fuel stations and set more of such stations on the waterways of Ijaw communities to give Ijaw people access to fuel.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw this decision because of the hardship it has already inflicted on our people.
“We also call on our own brother and Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, to prevail on Mr. President to meet the prerequisite conditions before total deregulation.