Fuel subsidy removal: No going back as NLC insists strike is inevitable
The National Labour Congress (NLC), has insisted that it will call for a strike action as it appears this is the only way it can make the Federal Government to change its stance on the removal of fuel subsidy.
The former NLC deputy president, Amaechi Asugwuni, while speaking on Channels Television Sunrise Daily on Monday said that there is no going back on the proposed strike scheduled for Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Asugwuni asserted that this is the only way out for Nigerians while also claiming that the new administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not handled the subsidy removal process in a proper way.
“Strike is inevitable because people know that the Nigerian government was paying subsidies because it is not refining itself,” Asugwuni said.
The labour relations consultant noted that Nigerians know a lot about the process of subsidy and expect the government to have a running refinery to carry out the removal.
“So, doing away with subsidy without you refining after 30 years or more suggests incompetence,” he added.
“Anything above the current price without a concrete plan for refineries to kickstart would make the country ‘unwise’ before the world.”
According to Asugwuni, it is illegal for Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to increase the price of its product sale, adding that there are forces beyond the control of the organisation.
“The lawyers have said it is illegal, and therefore NNPC, even though it was legal to do so, I think forces in the market are beyond NNPC,” he explained.
“Because when you allow market force to determine market price, you, therefore, cannot have a permanent price template, otherwise it would look as if the subsidy is still working with some people, especially the NNPC,” he stated.
The Labour consultant lamented that the impact the removal of subsidy will have on the minimum wage is an economic challenge to the living standard of Nigerians.
According to him, the subsidy effects are yet to permeate through the market evenly.
Recall that Tinubu in his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square in Abuja last Monday after he was sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th President said the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended.
The removal of subsidy following the president’s announcement has led to panic buying and arbitrary hoarding of the products which marketers introduced.
Some political bigwigs feel that Tinubu made the decision in haste, leading to people being stranded on Nigerian roads with transportation fares increasing abnormally.