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NLC, TUC warn Buhari govt on lingering fuel scarcity, threatens strike



The Federal Government has been urged by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to end the country’s gasoline shortages and price increases.

This was disclosed in a statement that was released on Saturday in Abuja and signed by the presidents of the NLC and the TUC, Ayuba Wabba and Mr. Festus Osifo.

They lamented that the lack of fuel, price increases, and unavoidably long lines at gas stations were unacceptable and could no longer be tolerated.

The Federal Government, according to the labour leaders, should eliminate the nation’s needless, unjustified, devastating, and painful fuel shortages as well as unauthorized price increases of up to N240 per liter.

”No excuse is good enough to cripple the country.

”If there are challenges, they should be fixed. We have a government in power to fix challenges not to make excuses,’’ they said in the statement.

According to the statement, the labor leaders were perplexed and alarmed by the ongoing shortage and out-of-control prices that participants in the petroleum industry’s downstream sector were dishing out to Nigerians.

It was mentioned that the people of Nigeria were suffering due to the ongoing shortages of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as gasoline.

The labour leaders also claimed that this had caused long, needless lines as well as product adulteration by dishonest people, customer exploitation, and the deterioration of fuel stations into traffic hazards.

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“All these have tragic consequences for the Nigerian people and debilitating effects on the health of the economy which itself is not in a good state.

“We are reliably informed that the shortage is deliberately fostered by players in the downstream sector in other to hike the price far above the government-approved threshold.

“It is an added problem when non-state actors begin to arrogate to themselves the power to determine the price of a litre of fuel far above the rate pegged by government in the current subsidy regime,” the statement read.

The labor leaders also said that taxpayers and the Nigerian populace currently spend trillions of Naira yearly subsidizing gasoline.

They continued by saying that the same people could not be taken advantage of and forced to pay more than N240 per litre when the existing ex-depot price was N148.19k.

The benefit of the subsidy regime is progressively being lost, they said, despite the fact that the opportunity cost of the subsidy payment was significant.

They contended that no nation can advance if its citizens endure constant difficulty and its economies are restrained by needless miseries.

“It is more disturbing that the government is equally demonstrating a high level of culpability in the unwholesome situation by its silence and unwillingness to frontally and publicly address the harrowing experiences in the current situation.

“No concerned and responsive government will bury its head in the sands like the proverbial Ostrich while the citizens are being brutally exploited.

“We are strongly worried that leaving our energy security and sovereignty in the hands of unscrupulous capitalists and their collaborators will further plunge this nation into the economic abyss we are working hard to avoid,” it said.

The current issues plaguing the oil sector are something that Organized Labour is ready and prepared to work with and support in any manner that they can, according to the statement.

It urged the regulatory and law enforcement organizations to take more measures to safeguard Nigerians against exploitation.

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