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NLC replies Keyamo, restates conditions for it to support fuel subsidy removal

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The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has reaffirmed that its position has not altered on the elimination of fuel subsidies.

This was disclosed in a statement that the NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, signed and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.

The NLC was previously tasked by Festus Keyamo, (SAN), Minister of State for Labour and Employment, to be transparent about its position on Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party (LP), and his decision to eliminate gasoline subsidies if elected.

Keyamo is the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign as well (APC).

The Nigerian Workers’ Charter of Demands, which the organised labour would be using to engage in the political process, was formulated by the NLC through tedious processes, according to Wabba.

According to him, the move was in furtherance of the avowed position of the NLC on issues-based campaigns in the run-up to the 2023 General Elections.

“A major demand in the Nigerian Workers Charter of Demands is that our local public refineries must work.

“We have also demanded that we must stop 100 per cent importation of refined petroleum products.

“The NLC and indeed the labour movement in Nigeria had over many decades been vehemently consistent that the only way to address the issue of the so-called petrol subsidies is to get our refineries to work.

“The logic is very simple: it is not economical to buy from abroad at very expensive prices a product that a country like ours can easily produce at home,’’ he said.

Wabba also stressed that the issue of the production economy was at the core of their demand for the administration of Nigeria’s mineral resources, particularly the downstream petroleum sub-sector.

He claimed that the congress thought the only option to end Nigeria’s economic nightmares of rapid depletion of its limited foreign exchange reserves was to rescue Nigeria from its current course from a consumption economy to a production economy.

According to Wabba, this would end the Naira’s ongoing devaluation as well as the huge job losses, poverty, and decline in people’s living conditions.

Read also:NLC wants review of NBC’s operating license amid ban on some broadcast media

“In a determined effort to popularise the positions in the Nigerian Workers Charter of Demands, the NLC and TUC at the behest of the Labour Party on Monday and Tuesday hosted a National Retreat of the leadership cadres in our movement.

“At the retreat, the Labour Party and Organised Labour in Nigeria adopted and mainstreamed the Workers Charter of Demands into the Manifesto of the Labour Party.

“This is in line with our persuasion that issue-based campaigns anchored on the manifesto of political parties should drive Nigeria’s political process.

“If any political party goes around saying that they plan to sell our refineries, remove subsidies, they should be ready to defend such stance to Nigerians at the campaigns, ’’he added.

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