Even after it was seemingly browbeaten into submission the first time, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the Federal Government against any increase in the pump price of petroleum products in the country.
The labour union also kicked against the plan of the FG to borrow $29.9 billion, asking the government to pursue and recover stolen government funds and use same to fund infrastructural development.
The position of the NLC was made known at the opening of its National Executive Council meeting in Sokoto, by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who expressed concern over ongoing media campaign and contradictory statements from the NNPC and government officials on the plan to increase the pump price of petrol.
Wabba said: “The government must not take us for granted. Indeed, the patience and perseverance of the entire populace must not be taken for granted, as we will sure mobilise the entire citizenry for mass protests in addition to other legitimate actions to resist any further increase”.
He lamented that “While Nigerians are still struggling to cope with the severe hardship imposed on them by the last increase in the price of petroleum products, there are ongoing media campaigns and contradictory statements by the NNPC and government officials on yet another plan to review the template for the pricing of petroleum products.”
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It would be recalled that in May, the Federal Government had announced a removal of subsidy on petrol, making the pump price of the product to jump to N145.
A divided NLC called out Nigerians to protest against the move, but little success was recorded in that venture, as government’s position held firm, and the price of petrol stood at N145 with attendant hardship on Nigerians.
This time around, Wabba said, “We are totally opposed to any further increases as we are yet to see the benefits of the last increase even as the current Minimum Wage Act has not been reviewed.
“It would amount to unleashing further hardship on workers and the poor if any further price increase is allowed.
“What is urgently required of government is not another increase but a downward review of the current pump price of petroleum products.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews….
Ripples Nigeria…without borders, without fears