The planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products by the federal government which would lead to increase in price of petrol in 2022 has been rejected by Nigeria’s main organised labour.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) which rejected the move, also called on the Federal Government to consider options to help the country embrace developmental governance and accountable leadership.

NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, made the call in a statement he issued to newsmen in Abuja, entitled: ”Nigerian workers refused to take the bait’’.

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.

Wabba noted that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs 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 sunsidy.

“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.

“Given the nationwide panic that has trailed the disclosure of the monologue within the corridors of government and foreign interests, the NLC wishes to maintain its rejection of deregulation based on import- driven model.

“We wish to reiterate our persuasion that the only benefit of deregulation based on import driven model is that Nigerian consumers will infinitely continue to pay high prices for refined petroleum products.

“This situation will definitely be compounded by the astronomical devaluation of the naira which currently goes for N560 to one US dollar in the parallel market, ’’he said.

 

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