Sustained opposition by organised Labour forced Federal Government to suspend increases in petrol pump price, President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday.
He also explained why Nigeria’s debt portfolio continued to soar, saying his administration kept the economy on its feet by spending out of recessions.
The President’s explanations were contained in the next year’s Appropriation Bill he presented for consideration at a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja.
He said next year’s Appropriation Act will be the last full-year budget to be implemented by his administration.
The National Assembly, Buhari said, would recall that in March last year, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced that the price of petrol would henceforth be determined by market forces.
He, however, noted that the rising crude oil prices and exchange rate combined to push the price of petrol above the regulated N145.00 per litre price.
According to the President, labour unions led the opposition against the price deregulation policy, saying that the government had to suspend upward price adjustments to engage labour leaders.
He added that the subsidy on petrol significantly eroded revenues that should have been available to fund this year’ Appropriation Act.