PMS price hike: Economist advises FG to evolve implementable strategies

Abuja –  An economist, Dr Aminu Usman, has advised the Federal Government to draw implementable short and long term strategies to address Premium Motor Sprit (PMS) supply in the country.

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Usman, a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said it was not the right time to increase the fuel price because of the inflation rate and the level of poverty in the country.

The don, however, said that raising the minimum wage was imperative but would not solve the problem.

“Attaching the pump price of PMS to parallel exchange rate means that whatever salary review is made will be useless once the exchange rate deteriorates.

“Yes, labour must demand for higher wages but the solution is for government to come out with implementable short and long term strategy to solve PMS supply bottlenecks,’’ he said.

Usman also advised the Federal Government to formulate policies that would reduce poverty in the country, adding that the government should educate the masses on its policies.

He appealed to the government to review its decision on the increase of fuel price.

“ Why the hike now at the height of inflationary spiral when people’s income have been halved?

“If they are not removing subsidy but only adjusting the price to reflect parallel market exchange rate, wouldn’t it be said that the government is devaluing the naira through the back door?

“What would happen to the price if dollar now exchanges for N400 ? Will the price remain at N145? If so, it then means that government is regulating the purported deregulations.

“Does the government have any plan to address the fuel supply problems? Increasing price without a clear plan to guarantee supply is suicidal.’’

In addition, he advised the Nigerian Labour Congress not to embark on strike but to negotiate with the government on best ways to address the challenges and alleviate the suffering of the masses. (NAN)

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