The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has blamed the recurring fuel crisis on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the sole provider of fuel for the country, saying absorbing subsidies is not healthy for the nation and the corporation.
TUC made this known In a communiqué signed by Bobboi Kaigama, National President and Musa Lawal, Secretary General, issued at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Lagos recently.
The union called on the government to reimburse the NNPC so as to enable it to perform its primary obligation to the country.
“Federal Government should begin the immediate payment of all outstanding subsidy claims by the petroleum marketers under the PPPRA-administered Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) to avoid consequential job losses which the nation can least afford.”
“These delays are also stopping the payments of wages/salaries in the downstream sector in a scary dimension which must not be allowed to degenerate further.
” It is expected that the government would engage the marketers as social partners under a special intervention arrangement that enables product marketer purchase foreign exchange (FOREX) at concessionary rates from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“This will keep the prices at their current levels as well as encourage more participants.” adding that government should revamp the public owned refineries as well, it said.
TUC stated that its NEC-In-Session observed that political terrain has become volatile once again and therefore enjoins all political leaders to ensure that peace and order are maintained amongst their followers.
According to the union, “Politicians should avoid hate speeches so that both the common man and workers can attain fulfillment. The NEC-in-Session also calls on the Governors owing workers to pay and not convert public funds and workers’ salaries for election purposes.”
The Union commended the federal government for the commencement of the minimum wage Committee and implores the Committee to speed up proceedings to ensure that a new minimum wage will take effect not later than the agreed third quarter of the year.
TUC said, “The NEC-in-Session observed that the fight against corruption will not achieve the desired result without addressing the injustices being perpetrated by political office holders who collect multiple pensions and gratuities while still serving government in another capacity. This is not good for the economy.”
TUC however called on the Federal Government to declare emergency in the power sector as no nation can develop without power.
“TUC recalls with dismay that several billions of naira has been expended in the sector to no avail. The call for tariff hike cannot be a solution and it shall be resisted.”
However, the union also urged the Federal Government to be decisive in its bid to rebuild the confidence of the citizenry in the system, by arresting and prosecuting killers of innocent Nigerians, masquerading as herdsmen and militia in different parts of the country.