A Federal High Court, sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos State, on Wednesday, ordered the Federal Government (FG) to fix the nation’s prices of goods and petroleum products within seven days.
Justice Ambose Lewis-Allagoa granted the order sequel to an originating motion filed and argued by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana.
He said: “I have had the applicant Femi Falana in a suit no San,FHC/L/CS/869/2023 and I have also discovered that despite the service of the Originating motion on the respondents namely Attorney-General of the Federation and the Price Control Board, no opposition to it by way of counter affidavit, which is law that all the facts deposed in the affidavit attached to the originating motion are all deemed admitted.
“Consequently, all prayers that are sought for in the motion papers are hereby granted as prayed.”
Lewis-Allagoa further ordered the Nigerian government to fix the price of Milk, Flour, salt, sugar, bicycles and it’s spare parts, matches, motorcycles and its spare parts, motor vehicles and it’s spare parts as well as Petroleum products, which include: diesel, petrol motor spirit (PMS) and kerosene.
The human rights lawyer had approached the Court for the following: “whether by virtue of Section 4 of the Price Control Act., the first defendant is carrying out its duty to impose a price on any goods that are of the kind specified in the First Schedule to the Price Control Act.
“A declaration that by virtue of Section 4 of the Price Control Act Cap, the defendants are under a legal obligation to fix the prices of bicycles and spare parts; flour; matches; milk; motorcycles and spare parts; motor vehicles and spare parts; salt; sugar and petroleum products including diesel, petrol motor spirit and kerosene.
“A declaration that the failure or refusal of the Defendants to fix the prices of bicycles and spare parts; flour; matches; milk; motorcycles and spare parts; motor vehicles and spare parts; salt; sugar and petroleum products including diesel, petrol motor spirit and kerosene is illegal as it offends the provision of Section 4 of the Price Control Act, Cap…., Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“An order directing the defendants to fix the prices of bicycles and spare parts; flour; matches; milk; motorcycles and spare parts; motor vehicles and spare parts; salt; sugar and petroleum products including diesel, petrol motor spirit and kerosene not later than 7 days after the delivery of the Judgment of this Honourable Court.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu directed the Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention to work out immediate measures to check rising food prices in the country.
Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, after the committee meeting, said the President was concerned about the accessibility and affordability of food items nationwide.
“The government is very concerned about what Nigerians are going through, especially what happened in Minna yesterday. Therefore, the government is taking some actions to ensure that Nigerians have some relief in terms of the availability of food on the table,” Idris said.
According to him, the committee meeting would continue until Thursday, adding that certain significant measures are already being considered to ease the deplorable situation.
“Now, some of these will involve unlocking the foods available in most of the storage facilities (National Food Reserves) around the country. The government is also talking to major millers and major commodity traders to also see what is available in their stores.
“To open it up so that government will provide some intervention, discuss with them to provide some intervention to make this food available to Nigerians,” the Minister said.
Idris however noted that the government was aware that some persons were creating food shortages because of its high cost and currency depreciation.
“What I will tell Nigerians is that the president has directed that government needs to step in to stem this tide. The government will not fold its arms and see the way Nigerians are suffering in terms of the availability of these food items, so I want to plead with you to understand the government.
“By the time these meetings are concluded, we’ll be able to issue a definite statement on the position of government in this regard,” the minister said.
The meeting was attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila; Central Bank governor, Yemi Cardoso; Minister of Finance, Wale Edun and the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu.
Others are; Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari, Budget and Economic Planning, Bagudu Atiku, and Ministers of State for Agriculture, Sabi Abdullahi, and FCT, Mariya Mahmoud.
via: Information Nigeria