The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected a planned petroleum price increase.
The labour Union also described the plan to pay the sum of N5000 monthly to Nigerians as palliative as a “penny wise-pound foolish” gamble.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made the call in a statement he issued to reporters in Abuja, entitled: ”Nigerian workers refused to take the bait’’.
According to him, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari announced on Wednesday that petrol could cost as much as N340 from February 2022.
Wabba lamented that there are no ongoing talks between labour and the federal Government, as negotiation was adjourned many months ago.
Wabba described as “comical“ the bait by the government to pay 40 million Nigerians N5,000 as palliative, to cushion the effect of astronomical increase in the price of petrol.
He said that the total amount involved what he called “queer initiative“ was far more than the money government claimed to spend currently on fuel subsidy.
“The NNPC GMD said that the price increase would be consequent on the plans by the Federal Government to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, also commonly referred to as petrol or fuel.
“The grand optimism of the NNPC GMD was predicated on the claims that the removal of fuel subsidy is now backed by an act of parliament probably the Petroleum Industry Act which was recently signed into law,’’ he said.
Wabba noted that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, re-echoed same on Tuesday at the launch of the World Bank’s Nigeria Development Update (NDU).
He added that the minister announced government’s plans to disburse N5000 to 40 million poorest Nigerians each as transport grant to cushion the effect of the planned removal of the fuel subsidy.
“The response of the NLC is that what we are hearing is the conversation of the Federal government with neo-liberal international monetary institutions.
“The conversation between the government and the people of Nigeria, especially workers under the auspices of the trade union movement on the matter of fuel subsidy was adjourned sine die so many months ago.
Wabba said the disclosures by NNPC GMD and the Minister were in symphony with the positions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which urged the Federal Government to do away with fuel subsidy.