Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has condemned the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) for fixing the pump price of petrol.
Naija News reports that the senior lawyer gave the condemnation days after the NNPCL increased the price of petrol for each state and across its retail outlets across the country.
Speaking in an interview with Channels Television on Friday, Falana said the oil corporation is not legally empowered to fix the price of petrol, stressing the NNPCL is constitutionally backed to adjust pump price.
The senior lawyer asserted that the power to fix the price of petrol lies with President Bola Tinubu since there is no substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources.
He said: “The NNPC has metamorphosed into a Limited Liability Company. It is now NNPC Limited. To that extent, NNPCs like Total, Exxonmobil, and Shell operating in the oil industry cannot announce increases in the prices of petroleum products. That duty is vested in the government.
“Nobody has the right in Nigeria to fix the prices of petroleum products other than the government. You have a price control act and at that time the petroleum act, now PIA.
“You ask the NNPC where have you got the power to fix the price of petrol from N185 to N540, how? The invisible market forces cannot under the Nigerian constitution and under the PIA fix the prices of petroleum products.
“Under the current situation in which we have found ourselves since ministers have not been appointed, the president is running the country. Only the president can sọ decide the price for now. You have the price control act, the PIA. There is no provision in our law for market forces to determine to prices of any product in the country.”