Labour denies endorsing petrol price hike, demands reversal to N160
*Says Nigerians threatening us
*Insists strike an option
Labour unions are demanding a reversal of recent hike in the petrol price and did not endorse deregulation that is anchored on price hike.
The general secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Emma Ugboajah, told The Guardian at the banquet hall, Aso Villa, that labour movement agreed that local refineries should be rehabilitated to boost local refining.
Ugboaja said almost eight weeks after the negotiations, the Federal Government has not shown any commitment to all the items that were agreed upon.
He stressed that out of 161 buses that are powered gas, none of them has been supplied to the movement.
“We never supported deregulation that is anchored on price increment. Our minimum request is that the Federal Government must reverse back to N160,” Ugboajah said. “We agreed that the refineries should be out to work. We have not seen any work in that regard. Also, we have seen the NNPC maintaining a stranglehold on importation.”
On his part, the President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, said things are going out hand if urgent steps are not taken.
His words: “We cannot pretend that things are not going right. It seems government wants to create crisis when none exists. We have been coming here to ensure the hardship on the people is reduced.
I want to say we are not happy. Government is showing high level of insincerity with us. I receive a lot of text messages from Nigerians abusing us. we find it difficult to move freely. I believe that government is sponsoring some people to attack us. Some of people stayed away from this meeting because they are afraid of backash.
“Academic staffers have been on strike. We set up a committee for more than two months and nothing has happened. A month to the end of the year, nothing has been done. If today’s meeting does not solve the problem, we will mobilise outselve and stage a walk out of the meeting. I hope today’s meeting will be productive. ”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the meeting was supposed to have been held in October but for #EndSars protests that rocked the nation last month.
Ngige said the Federal Government is ready to begin rolling out the palliatives as from today, Monday.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha said government is already working on some of the agreed area such as reduction of tariff on the importation of cars from 35% to 10% and other steps that the Federal Government has taken.