Labour, Minimum wage, Oil marketers back out of NLC, TUC nationwide strike, support deregulation policy
Nigeria Labour Congress members protesting
Joe Ajaero, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that Nigerians are being deceived regarding the fuel pump pricing.
Mr. Ajaero said this during a July 18 interview with Channels Television.
According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has said that independent marketers are now importing refined petroleum products into the country, and they are no longer the sole importers.
But Nigerians demanded to know who the new importers are, he asked for the names of the new importers to be made public.
“NNPCL cannot import and say the commodity is imported by marketers, that is not true. If the government withdrew subsidies of petroleum products and suddenly while we are about to start committee meetings, there is another price increase, why then will government seek a court injunction and use other measures if it is not their business?
“It seems we have entered a reign where Nigerians are being punished unnecessarily and where lies are coming up everywhere.
“If you have a single market where everybody must change dollars at N800/$1, you removed the market where people were changing dollars at N450 to import, it means the very moment that dollar value increases to even N900/N1000, you will tell us that you imported it at current value.
“Despite the fact that the products you have now are not the ones that were imported under N800/$, Clearly, the government is toying with Nigerians. What is happening is not Economics, but a reign of impunity.”
The Labour leader also called out the decision of the government to make N70 billion available to subsidize the National Assembly, meanwhile, the fuel subsidy was removed which has affected only the poor masses. He accused the government of taking away benefits from the poor and giving them to the rich.
The compressed natural gas (CNG) context
Mr. Ajaero said that the CNG agreement, if already in place would have created a cheaper alternative (N100/litre) for poor Nigerians who do not have the luxury of paying for fuel at higher prices.
However, the further increase in fuel pump prices while the CNG agreement is still being consummated is an affront to Nigerians.
He stated further that institutions like the African Development Bank (AfDB) had expressed interest in funding the CNG alternative in the country and he does not understand why the government is not ready to kickstart the process of making CNG available as an alternative fuel for Nigerians.
He accused the government of being dictatorial and currently attacking Nigerians through the increase of prices (fuel, school fees, electricity tariffs).