The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Friday backed the new petrol pump price by the Federal Government.
This formed part of a communique released by the two bodies at the end of a Joint National Executive Council Meeting held in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in southern Nigeria.
The communique stated: “The increment was a step in the right direction.
“Government needs to engage with stakeholders to work out a clear direction on how to invest the gains into the economy to cushion the effect of the price”.
It also resolved that the decision of the Federal Government to deregulate the downstream sector of the oil was to encourage investment in refineries, make the product available and drive down the pump price.
“The bodies, therefore, called on the government to intensify efforts in ensuring that, it puts in place machinery to ensure optimal performance of existing refineries,” the statement read.
The President of PENGASSAN, Mr Francis Olabode-Johnson and the President NUPENG, Igwe Achese, were also at the meeting.
The meeting is coming two days after the Federal Government introduced a new price band for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also referred to as petrol, pegging the highest price at 145 Naira per litre.
The new price was set after a meeting of various stakeholders including the labour unions, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, which was presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
In order to increase and stabilise the supply of the product, the government said any Nigerian entity could now import the product, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by regulatory agencies.
However, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) had insisted that the recent hike in the pump price of petrol was unacceptable.
The General Secretary of the NLC, Mr Peter, Ozo-Ezon, who spoke on Sunrise Daily, referred to the announcement of a new petrol pump price band of 135 to 145 Naira as the “worst approach that any government has taken” in the history of Nigeria.
Petrol scarcity had hit the oil-rich nation, lasting for over five months, the worst that the nation had experienced in the last decade.