The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has on Wednesday threatened to resist the federal government’s scrapping of fuel subsidy and increase of petrol price to about N145 per litre.
This is in contradiction to the federal government’s claims that organized labour was part of the stakeholders that agreed for the total removal of fuel subsidy.
In a statement by the General Secretary of the NLC, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, organized labour said:
“The unilateral increase in prices of petroleum products today by government represents the height of insensitivity and impunity and shall be resisted by the Nigeria Labour Congress and its civil society allies.
“With the imposition on the citizenry of criminal and unjustifiable electricity tariff and resultant darkness and other economic challenges brought on by the devaluation of the Naira and spiraling inflation, the least one had expected at this point in time was another policy measure that would further make life more miserable for the ordinary Nigerian.
“The latest increase is the most audacious and cruel in
the history of product price increase as It represents not only about 80 per cent increase but it is tied to the black market exchange rate.
“Furthermore, the process through which government arrived at this is both illogical and illegal as the board of the PPPRA is not duly constituted. In our previous statements and communiques, we had stressed the need for reconstituting the boards of NNPC and PPPRA and wean both away from the overbearing influence of the Minister of State for Petroleum
Resources who has assumed the role of a Sole Administrator.
The allusion to the fact that the this increase was arrived at after due consultation with stake holders is not only ridiculous and fallacious, it goes to show that the brief meeting held today during which government was advised to shelve the idea until at least it meets with the appropriate organs of the Congress was in bad faith.
“Accordingly, we urge the government to revert the prices to what they were. We would want to put everybody on notice that we shall resist this criminal increase with every means legitimate.
“Already an emergency NEC meeting has been scheduled for Friday, May 13, 2016 to decide on the next line of action. Meanwhile, our affiliates, state councils and civil society allies are requested to commence mobilization immediately.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Sotonye Iyoyo, said the new price, which reflected a hike by about 67.6 per cent from the previous N86.50 per litre, was to help marketers overcome difficulties they were facing in fuel importation.
The N86.50 was the official fixed price by government under the now defunct subsidy regime.
Under the subsidy regime, the government paid the difference between the landing cost of fuel, including the marketers’ and distributors’ margins, and the fixed retail price to enable fuel to be sold at N86 per litre at NNPC-owned mega stations, and N86.50 per litre in other filling stations.