…Demands immediate reversal
…’It’s grand mischief, deceit’
… PDP says APC lacks sympathy
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has strongly rejected the recent increase in the price of petrol from N123 to N143 just as it demanded an immediate reversal to the previous price.
The NLC’s president, Ayuba Wabba, stated this in a statement he issued to journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that the Nigerian people and workers are forced to interpret the government’s decision taken at a time that the lockdown was being eased and inter-state travel ban lifted as a grand mischief and deceit.
Recalling that the last downward review in the price of petrol was at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown when most Nigerians were at home, Wabba insisted that the economic benefits of the so-called “downward” review was hardly enjoyed by ordinary Nigerians who were mostly indoors.
Noting that Nigerians have groaned to pay these unjust costs for years, he strongly warned that this latest increase might just be the last straw that would break the camel’s back.
He called on the federal government to immediately revert to the old order especially given the fact that price of crude oil in the international market has only slightly increased from the previous one before the so-called downward review was announced two months ago.
His words: “It was with great shock and consternation that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) received yesterday’s news of increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit commonly called ‘petrol’ from N121 to N143.
“There is no way Nigerians would accept a situation where we are charged international rates for a product which Nigeria is the sixth largest producer in the world.
The extra costs that the PPPRA wants Nigerians to pay in order to promote “growth” and “investment” are actually the cost of profits made by countries that we ship our crude oil to, the cost of sea freight of the refined products, the cost of demurrage at our seaports when the refined products arrive, the cost of frequent devaluation of our national currency, and the cost of official corruption by gatekeepers managing the downstream petroleum sub-sector.
Nigerians have groaned to pay these unjust costs for years. This latest increase might just be the last straw that would break the camel’s back.
“We demand that the Federal Government reverts to the old price of petroleum especially given the fact that price of crude oil in the international market has only slightly increased from the previous price before the so-called downward review was announced two months ago.
“We also renew our call for a national conversation on the management of our oil assets which we insist must be in tandem with the provisions our country’s constitution which clearly mandates that the commanding heights of our national economy must be held by the government in the interest of the citizens of Nigeria. Finally, we demand that our four national petroleum refineries must be fixed without any further delay.
“Nigerian workers want to be appraised of the timeline set by government to ensure that this is effectively done. Nigeria belongs to all of us. Workers are major stakeholders in the Nigerian project. Nigerian workers and people must not only be treated fairly but must be seen to have been so treated by their government.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the announced increase in fuel price from N123 to N143.80 per liter by the Federal Government, describing it as a punishment to Nigerians, given the prevailing economic hardship foisted on country by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
The party described the hike, despite the decline price of crude oil in the international market, as grossly unjustifiable and further exposes the insincerity of the APC and its administration.
The PDP noted that in directing a fuel price increase at the time Nigerians are facing the economic and social trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration shows a total lack of human feelings to the plights of our citizens.
In a statement Thursday by party spokesperson,Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP challenges the APC-led Federal Government to present to Nigerians, the indices and parameters it used to determine the price increase, which obviously cannot be in tandem with the prevalent situation in the global industry.
“The actions of the APC administration have continued to confirm that the party has never been pro-poor but only relishes in imposing hardship and heavy taxes on already impoverished Nigerians, while running an over-bloated government through which resources meant for the welfare of Nigerians are frittered by corrupt officials and the cabal in the Presidency.
“Under the APC, Nigerians have been subjected to untold hardship, which is worsened by excruciating taxes, including a 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential commodities and services, increased electricity tariff, obnoxious Stamp Duty and other levies on bank transactions.
“It is shocking that the APC government has continued to impose
more burdens that have made life unbearable to our citizens, many of whom have lost their means of livelihood due to the misrule of the APC.
“Only yesterday, President Buhari told the world that the number of poor people will triple following the adverse impact of COVID-19 pandemic; yet his administration, which has turned our nation into the poverty capital of the world, instead of seeking ways to stimulate the economy, is worsening the situation with an increase in fuel price.
“What Nigerians expect of the Buhari Presidency at this critical time is to save resources by immediately cutting the size of its over-bloated government, recover the over N14 trillion oil money stolen under its watch and channel the funds towards the wellbeing of Nigerians”, the party lamented..
The PDP, therefore, charged the APC and its administration to immediately reverse the pump price of fuel to a price not exceeding N90 per liter, given the prevailing templates in the price of crude oil in the international market.