The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said Nigerians will reject any attempt to increase the price of petrol under the guise of fuel subsidy removal, reiterating that any price increase will not be forced down the throat of Nigerians.
Fuel queues resurfaced over the weekend in various parts of the country, with markets being accused of deliberately hoarding petroleum products.
The resurfacing of the fuel queues is not unconnected with recent reports that the federal government plans to remove petroleum subsidy.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, while reacting to the report, said Nigerian workers would reject any subsidy regime. Wabba described fuel subsidy as a form of corruption and payment for the inefficiency of the nation in the oil industry.
He said, “Let me tell our country and our government that certainly, they should be weary of IMF and their advices. This is because I saw that many media houses are trying to amplify that the IMF has recommended that subsidy should be removed. In the first instance, is there subsidy? This is a question we have not been able to answer.
And I want to collaborate with what President Buhari said years back that subsidy is actually corruption and that whoever is subsidising is aiding corruption and we stand by that position. In fact, that has remained a consistent position of NLC. “We can kill that issue of subsidy if we refine our products for our domestic use and it is not rocket science.”
He said that the solution to fuel subsidy was to ensure that the four refineries in Nigeria were working, stressing that Nigeria can get the refineries working again if the government shows political will to do so.
He said, “Nothing is wrong with our refineries, it is just conspiracy. Refineries can be upgraded from one capacity to another. The four refineries we have, if serviced and upgraded, can service our population and the entire West African countries. But because it pays more for corruption tendencies, that is why we prefer importation than refining our product for domestic use. So, clearly, this issue should be situated.”