The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has criticised plans by the Federal Government to eliminate the payment of fuel subsidies.
This was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja, entitled: ”Nigerian workers refused to take the bait’’.
According to him, it was injustice for the FG to pay 40 million Nigerians N5,000 as palliative, to cushion the effect of astronomical increase in the price of petrol.
He said that the total amount involved in what he called “queer initiative“ was far more than the money government claimed to spend currently on fuel subsidy.
“The NNPC GMD said that the price increase would be consequent on the plans by the Federal Government to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, also commonly referred to as petrol or fuel.
“The grand optimism of the NNPC GMD was predicated on the claims that the removal of fuel subsidy is now backed by an act of parliament probably the Petroleum Industry Act which was recently signed into law,’’ Wabba said.
He further slammed the FG for aligning with the International Monetary Fund who had clamoured for a complete removal of subsidies.
“The response of the NLC is that what we are hearing is the conversation of the Federal government with neo-liberal international monetary institutions.
“The conversation between the government and the people of Nigeria, especially workers under the auspices of the trade union movement on the matter of fuel subsidy was adjourned sine die so many months ago.
“Given the nationwide panic that has trailed the disclosure of the monologue within the corridors of government and foreign interests, the NLC wishes to maintain its rejection of deregulation based on import- driven model.
“We wish to reiterate our persuasion that the only benefit of deregulation based on import driven model is that Nigerian consumers will infinitely continue to pay high prices for refined petroleum products.
“This situation will definitely be compounded by the astronomical devaluation of the naira which currently goes for N560 to one US dollar in the parallel market,’’ he said.
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