The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday submitted a petition to the 36 state governors, against the Federal Government’s proposed removal of fuel subsidy despite the fact that the federal government, through the Minister of Finance, has announced the cancellation of the planned increment.
The petition, captioned “Petition by Nigerian workers against the proposed increase in the price of the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS,” was jointly signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja.
In the petition, the NLC sought the state governors’ interventions as members of the National Economic Council, NEC, to convey the Congress persuasions and demands to the federal government.
The NLC also demanded that the federal government should announce withdrawal of its plans to increase the pump price of petrol, noting that the mismanagement of our four public oil refineries by successive governments opened the floodgate of mass importation of refined petroleum products and consequently incessant increases in the price of the product.
The Congress further requested the federal government to re-engage the organized labour in discussions to find mutually acceptable solutions to issues in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sub-sector.
It also tasked governments at all levels to take immediate steps to improve governance and public accountability in order to regain the confidence of Nigerians that the constitutional mandate of guaranteeing the welfare and security of the people has not been traded off.
The labour union also tasked the federal government to demonstrate seriousness and commitment to overhauling our local refineries as a lasting panacea to mass importation of refined petroleum products, importation pricing model, and a host of lost opportunities, official corruption and self-inflicted dislocations occasioned by mass importation of refined petroleum products into Nigeria.
They threatened to stop work once government initiates another round of fuel price increment that would bring untold hardship to Nigerian workers, their families and the populace at large.
The NLC said that monies spent on the so-called petrol subsidy would be totally unnecessary if the government is alive to its responsibilities of proper management of critical national assets especially our local refineries.
It emphasized that there is no way a country can control the price of what it does not produce.