Nigeria: Arrests in protests against fuel price hike

Alaturka Amerika ABD Haberleri

ANKARA (AA) – Nigerian police Thursday dispersed and arrested protesters decrying the recent hike in petrol prices and electricity tariff in the suburban city Ojuelegba, Lagos, local media reported.

This comes as a series of demonstrations against the increase in petrol prices and electricity tariff has reportedly hit different parts of the oil-rich country, according to the Politics Nigeria local website.

The arrested protestors are members of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and National Conscience Party (NCP), according to the report.

In March, Nigeria’s federal government said the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) would modulate the prices in accordance with market dynamics.

Petrol prices in the oil-rich country have increased for three straight months, rising from slightly over 121 naira ($0.32) per liter in June to over 143 naira ($0.38) in July, 150 naira ($0.39) in August, and 162 naira ($0.43) in September, according to the report.

Earlier this month, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company increased the ex-depot rate of petrol – the price at which it is sold to suppliers – to over 151 naira ($0.40) from 138 naira ($0.36), before slashing it down to 147 naira ($0.39).

After the ex-depot adjustment, the petrol's retail price has now reached 160 naira ($0.42) per liter amid reports talking about the COVID-19 impact on the country's economy, according to Politics Nigeria.

As for electricity, authorities have approved a rise in rates starting from September, although a previous tariff hike slated for July 1 was halted by the Nigerian parliament.

Power distribution companies had been asked to put off any tariff increase until the first quarter of 2021 due to “the current economic challenges in Nigeria,” according to daily Punch.

However, consumers, except those receiving less than 12 hours of supply, will have to pay more for electricity starting from Sept. 1, according to local media reports.

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