The Nigeria Labour Congress says any effort made by the Federal Government to increase the price of fuel in the name of subsidy removal would be resisted.
The President, Nigria Labour Congress made this known on Monday during the 18th edition opening ceremony of Harmathan School in Kwara State capital, Ilorin.
Speaking on a theme: Expanding Nigeria’s Democratic Space for Trade Unions Organizing In the World of Work, he said, ‘’ Nigeria Labour Congress would not hesitate to counter the action of the government on the removal of subsidy because as far we are concerned subsidy is inefficiency, our inability to refine products.’’
He said, ‘’ we will not discuss anything subsidy. What they told us is that the refineries will be up and running in 2023. So, once we start production, we can now come to the table and discuss the issue of subsidy. I think that is how to start the conversation and we are taking this issue very serious.
Although, in his view, there is nothing bad about subsidy, but he believes, in Nigeria’s case, it is shrouded in secrecy.
“It is not a transparent process,” he alleged, adding, “the consumption and all details are shrouded. This is typical of a capitalist economy.”
He, therefore, advised the government to find a way of refining petrol and also put transparent structures in place to address the issue.
He stated: “Many countries had done it and are running those enterprises as enterprise of government and that the transparent process is working for them.
“If you privatize without transparent process like we have seen in the banks, which government has supported with public funds, but failed because they lack transparency and good governance templates, it will not work.
“This is what we have been arguing. Nigerians should reflect on this. Once you say you remove subsidy and you follow the trend of the diesel, it means it will be out of reach.
“The very important question that we need to interrogate the government on is: if they want the price of PMS to be like diesel which is almost N850 to N860 per litre. So, we are not running away from and we have never run away or shy away from discussing the issue of subsidy. Whether there is or not, we can discuss it.”
Also speaking, NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja warned that his union would in no way accept price increase in the name of subsidy removal.
He said: ‘’we have an existing understanding with the Federal Government. We will resist subsidy removal whether now or in 2023. We still have our PVCs. We will not vote for any subsidy removal.
“We shall work against any candidate that plans to remove subsidy and inflict more pains on us. We should be talking about refining product and local production not about subsidy removal.”
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