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Stock up on food, labour warns Nigerians

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NLC
• Begins Countdown To Wednesday’s Strike
• Reps Call Emergency Session, Summon Kachikwu

Rising from a joint meeting between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and their civil society allies in Abuja, yesterday, Labour called on Nigerians to stock up on essential commodities, as it begins a strike action on Wednesday in protest of recent hike in the pump price of petrol.

“Nigerians are advised to stock sufficient food items that will last for a while, for the prosecution of the current struggle against neo-liberal agenda in the country,” said NLC President, Ayuba Wabba.

Labour declared that if by the end of office hours on Tuesday, government had not invited it for negotiations, it would shut down the country.

It accused the government of prioritising the interests of petrol marketers above that of other Nigerians. It particularly flayed President Muhammadu Buhari for reneging on campaign promises that he would not remove fuel subsidy.

It added that the price hike from N86.50 to N145, which represents 67.63 per cent increase, is the height of insensitivity and impunity, as there had been no previous consultation with stakeholders, especially the organised labour.

There are also indications that the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) may also join in the action.

The two unions, last week, had voiced support for the price hike.

Wabba said modalities have been finalised to begin talks with NUPENG and PENGASSAN.

In attendance at yesterday’s meeting, the President of PENGASSAN, Olabode Johnson, blamed the incoming strike on non-passage on the Petroleum Industry Bill.

Confirming that PENGASSAN will also press the battle, he, however, expressed doubt if NUPENG, headed by Igwe Achese, will be willing to work with the NLC, considering the fact that Achese belongs to the camp of Joe Ajaero, who had declared himself a factional leader of the NLC after last year’s delegates’ conference.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said the price hike is influenced by the need to reposition the economy and foster national prosperity.

Ngige, who disclosed this while paying a working visit to the South East regional office of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NISTF), Enugu, said: “The Federal Government is not unaware of the hard times Nigerians are passing through at the moment as a result of the re-structuring of the economy. The President is genuinely concerned and personally feels the pains too. But this is a necessary phase we must all endure for the restoration of better days.”

Meanwhile, a special session of the House of Representatives will hold in Abuja tomorrow. It will discuss the controversial deregulation of the price of petrol, even as some members are said to be angry at the manner it was introduced.

They will have a special guest at the session. He is the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. He is expected to explain the rationale behind the government’s move and policy in the face of the hardship Nigerians are facing.

It is not exactly clear if the Senate will toe the line of the Lower House, but there is no indication members will rush through a meeting over the fuel price increase.

In the face of the growing anger across the country, the Presidency continues to come up with explanations on why President Mohammadu Buhari consented to the increase. The President had been opposed to any fuel price increase, but last week, while he was away at an anti-corruption conference in London, the government announced a hike.



7 Comments
  • Gp Njoku

    My sincere opinion is that subsidy does not have to be completely removed, but can be ammended.
    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=6BCC0C812ABB0D47!25674&authkey=!ADiEeEoBFEZtJV4&ithint=file%2cpdf

    • yinka

      Unions are fooling Nigerians with this subsidy nonsense. Those that actually benefited from it live in Banana Island, Ikoyi, Miatama, etc. Union is working for them not the workers because the economy can never if the government continue to burn billions of dollars in foreign exchange years after years. The government can not give raise and pay subsidy. The youth can not get employment because the money has to use to fill up rich people fleet of SUV. While other neighboring countries are using their fund for development, Nigeria is subsidizing their petrol

  • Tru

    And what is the NLC suggesting as the way out of these perpetual fuel shortage and economic stagnation? By the way, it was only in Lagos that people were buying fuel at N85, the rest of the country had always bought at N170 to 200.

    NLC needs to be careful, or else they will become utterly irrelevant.

    • vic

      NLC WILL NOT BE IRRELEVANT BUT THIS CURRENT WORTHLESS GOVERNMENT WILL BECOME IRRELEVANT AS THEY HAVE ALREADY AMPLY DEMONSTRATED.

      BUHARI WAS DEAD ON ARRIVAL, HE IS COMPLETELY DEAD NOW.

      NIGERIA HAS NO LEADER.

  • Osanebi Osakuni

    The reason Buhari and his insincere APC politicians won’t succeed is that, they used this same labour and right activists to frustrate this policy at the most auspicious time simply because it was muted by Dr Goodluck. Now that the economic conditions are extremely bad, they are now foisting the same policy on Nigerians. This policy would have opened up private investment in refineries if these demons didn’t fight against it. Now uncertainties arising from almost nonexistent economic team and defined policies under a very weakened local currency, there is no doubt that Nigerians are coming under more unbearable pains in the weeks ahead. The real change they invited to themselves: Pity!

  • vic

    THESE NEW SET OF MINISTERS LED BY BUHARI HAVE TURNED OUT TO BE DECEIVERS WHO TOLD LIES AND STABBED THE POOR MASSES OF NIGERIA IN THEIR BACK WHO PUT BUHARI IN ASO ROCK. BUHARI IS THE CRIMINAL BEHIND THIS HEINOUS CRIME AGAINST THE POOR MASSES OF NIGERIA.

    NIGERIAN MASSES DO NOT TRUST BUHARI AND HIS COHORTS NOR DO THEY BELIEVE IN THEM ANY MORE. THEY ARE ALL LAIRS AND DECEIVERS, WHAT THEY SAY TODAY DENY TOMORROW. NLC AND TUC HAVE ALREADY PUT FORWARD THEIR FORMAL DEMANDS TO THE BUHARI’S GOVERNMENT. NOW LET THE ROGUE MINISTER NGIGE GIVE A FORMAL WRITTEN RESPONSE TO NLC ON THESE DEMANDS AND IF THE DEMANDS ARE NOT ACCEPTED, NLC AND TUC SHOULD GO ON TOTAL INDEFINITE STRIKE ACROSS THE NATION.

    NIGERIAN MUST ASK NOW IN WHOSE INTEREST IS THE BUHARI-LED CRIMINAL GOVERNMENT WORKING??????

    DURING BUHARI’S 12 MONTHS ADMINISTRATION, HE HAS TOTALLY DESTROYED NAIRA, ELECTRICITY PRICES HAVE DOUBLED, THE FUEL PRICES HAVE DOUBLED, AND AS A CONSEQUENCE, IN THE PAST FEW DAYS THE MARKET COMMODITY PRICES HAVE DOUBLED UP, THE SERVICE CHARGES HAVE DOUBLED UP. THIS IS BUHARI’S FUNNY WAY TO HELP POOR MASSES OF NIGERIA AND THE CHANGE HE PROMISED????

    BUHARI TURNED OUT TO BE A PERFECT GOAT-REARING DAURA BEGGAR WHO IS RUNNING THE COUNTRY AS HIS PRIVATE FARM. SURELY, VERY SOON, WITH THE CURRENT SITUATION HE HAS CREATED IN NIGERIA, DAURA SAND WILL SOAK HIS WORTHLESS ANIMAL BLOOD.

    BUHARI, IS STILL, A RAW DICTATOR AND IS DEAD ON ARRIVAL

  • Lemmuel Odjay

    I should “stock up on food?” You don come again o. Are you going to provide the money? Why do you keep repeating the same failed approach to labour-related issues over the past 30-something years while expecting different results? I have noticed that labour/TUC/PENGASSAN leadership after Pa Imoudu had always emerged from meetings with governments richer while their unsuspecting followers got hung over to dry on picket lines. Let’s take a census and compare/contrast. Since after Pa Imoudu. Who are you kidding…?