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NLC vows to resist proposed fuel price hike in Nigeria

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Ayuba-Wabba

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday promised to resist any attempt by the Federal Government to increase the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) commonly known as petrol in the country.

An ad hoc committee put in place by the National Economic Council (NEC) had recommended an increase in the pump price of petrol to N302 per litre effective from February.

The NLC had last week directed all its state councils to mobilize members for a one-day nationwide protest on January 27 over the planned removal of fuel subsidy and imposition of 10 percent excise duty on soft drinks by the Federal Government.

This followed the declaration by the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in October last year that the Federal Government made provision for petrol subsidy only for the first six months of 2022.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who featured in a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, insisted that the union would not allow the proposed fuel price hike to stand.

He stressed that any move to increase the petrol price would send many Nigerians to their graves early.

Wabba said: “In 2016, they promised minimum wage will be implemented and everybody will be paid. As I speak to you, six states have not even started. It is part of the agreement.

“About the palliative in 2016, we also discussed palliative. N500 billion was earmarked for palliative, including housing and the issue of transportation. These things are not in place.

READ ALSO: Governors to engage labour on fuel subsidy

“Therefore, it goes beyond promise. It is now about looking at the issue and importantly, the whole world is now in a very precarious situation. Many workers have lost their jobs, those on fixed wages and their salaries cannot take them home — that is the reality.

“In this complex issue, if we compound it with the price hike of PMS, it then means that many people will go to their graves early. It is better we try to also resist the issue and make sure people are safe.

“We have every reason not to import refined products. We have four refineries that are moribund. Those refineries are new; they are not old.

“In India, we have a refinery that is 100 years old. Refineries can be refurbished. Refineries can be upgraded from one refining capacity to another. This can be done.

“Those refineries are not old. Deliberately, they are made not to work just because there are a lot of incentives.”

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