The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the federal government that Nigerians will not condone with another fuel price increase in the height of the untoward economic situation in the country.
This is coming about eight months after the Muhammadu Buhari-led regime stopped the fuel subsidy, which was costing the government millions of naira – being paid monthly to oil marketers importing the product then.
It was gathered that the federal government had already begun to pay the subsidy on fuel as a result of the increase in the landing cost and total cost of fuel from N122.03 and N140.40 per litre respectively to N145.
Reacting to the development, the General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, told The Punch on Sunday that the government should review its policy on subsidy that led to the increase in the fuel pump price from N97 to N145 per litre last year.
He said: “I do not think that at this time, and given all that we have seen, that Nigerians can be subjected to another round of price increase now.Loading...
“That is why government needs to revisit and rethink its policy. Nigerians cannot take another round of price increase.”
While recalling that the NLC had during the last fuel increase said that the policy was not suitable in an import-dependent regime as it was bound to further weaken the naira, he added:
“The policy that is being pursued is not one that can grant you stability in price. When they raised the price to N145, we said so; that with time, given an import-dependent regime, for such a policy, the value of the Naira will be severely weakened.
“We actually remember saying then that before the end of the year, the Naira will be close to N500 to a dollar and it has come to happen. If you translate the current value of the Naira through the template, you are going to find that the landing price would be higher.
“The burden is on the government. That is where the issue of policy comes in. It is government policy that led to the price going to N145. Given the realities on the ground, now the government needs to revisit its own policy.”
When asked what the NLC would do if the fuel price is increased again, he said, “That is not for me to say. It is not an individual who makes such pronouncements. Whatever develops, we may also engage it and decisions would be taken and communicated to Nigerians.”