Leaders of the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) frowned at the recent increase in fuel pump prices from N121 to N143 per litre, describing the rise as manipulating Nigerians to enrich a few oil traders.
The National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, who, via an official press release, accused the Federal Government of involvement in the price rise, called for an immediate review of the operation. He also insisted on a renewed call for a national conversation on the management of all oil assets in the world.
The NLC president, who wondered why the federal government had continued to impose misery on the poor, said that the new administration seemed to protect the oil marketers rather than the people. The President of the NLC promoted good governance to counter inequality and the country’s poverty rate.
The statement quotes as follows
“It is disheartening that despite the gale of opposition by labour and Nigerians to the previous hike in the price of petrol, the government went ahead to add scorpion to the scourges on the back of Nigerians. This is indeed a whole new level of government insincerity and insensitivity.
“This latest increase in the price of petrol is indeed a crass display of complete apathy to the sufferings Nigerians are going through at this time. While other countries also going through the blues of the Covid-19 pandemic are reducing taxes, increasing welfare benefits and providing palliatives to their citizens, our own government is reducing interest rates on savings by the poor, increasing taxes and hiking tariffs on essential goods and services. Nigerians have never had it so bad.
“It is said that while poor Nigerians are being pilloried by the government of the day with obscene fiscal burdens, those connected to the highest echelons of political power are daily amassing public wealth and rubbing their illicit loot on our faces. Hobbesian state of living appears to be the perfect metaphor for the state of affair today in Nigeria.
“As we have always maintained, the Nigeria Labour Congress will never accept the transfer of government incompetence on Nigerians through a hike in the pump price of petrol. The incompetence of the government in this regard is particularly manifest by the rundown of our public refineries and resort to the unscrupulous economics of fuel importation.
“At the risk of shouting ourselves hoarse, we reiterate that the increase in the pump price of petrol is simply the cost of profits made by countries that have enough sense to maintain refineries that refine our crude oil, the cost of sea freight of refined petrol, the cost of demurrage at our seaports when the refined products arrive, the cost of the frequent devaluation of our national currency, and the cost of official corruption by gatekeepers managing the downstream petroleum sub-sector. Nigerians have groaned to pay these unjust costs for years. This latest increase will be the last straw that would break the camel’s back.”
The NLC urged the government to fix the four refineries without delay.
“Finally, we demand that our four national petroleum refineries must be fixed without any further delay. Nigerian workers want to be appraised of the timeline set by the government to ensure that this is effectively done.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us. Workers are major stakeholders in the Nigerian project. Nigerian workers and people must not only be treated fairly but must be seen to have been so treated by their government,” the statement added