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NUPENG, TUC, Kano group kick against proposed N5 petrol levy

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30 ships carrying food, others arrive at Lagos ports
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday said that workers would resist any attempt to adjust the pump price of petrol under any guise.

Speaking with journalists in Lagos, President of NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, said oil workers were fully prepared to resist the proposed N5 petrol levy by the Senate.

Achese said oil workers would not allow what happened in the electricity sector where Nigerians were short-changed and made to pay for darkness instead of light.

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He said: “Just a year ago, the pump price of petrol was increased from N87 to N145 per litre and Nigerians accepted the increment because of the sincerity of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“Any attempt to adjust the price of petrol under any guise will be resisted by the organised labour.”

In the same vein, the TUC has warned the Senate against further plans to impoverish Nigerians with the recent move to hike the prices of petroleum products to fund the proposed ‘National Roads Fund.’

The Secretary-General of the Congress, Mr. Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said: “For over two years now, the organised labour has called for a wage increase without any reasonable step taken. What we earn when a bag of rice was N8,000 is still our take-home now that a bag of rice is N20,000. How do we survive?

“We are surprised that Nigerian lawmakers and other political office holders have become numb to our pains, agonies and miseries. This is painful.”

It would be recalled that the South-West Chairman of NUPENG, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, at the weekend in Lagos said that the proposal was ill-timed and also smacked of insensitivity to the current economic hardship facing Nigerians.

He wondered how the nation’s upper legislative chamber could think of another fuel price increase when Nigerians were “striving to cope with the current harsh economic realities.”

“How can the Senate propose such a bill at this particular period when poor Nigerians can hardly feed themselves?

“The prices of foodstuff have tripled in the market, while workers’ salary has not been increased,” Korodo said.

Besides, a group, Kano South Concern Citizen and Development, has kicked against the proposed levy.

It described it as act of cruelty against poor masses.

In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Sani Muhammad Kachako, the group posited that such attempt would not only undermine the change agenda of the Federal Government, but worsen the fragile economic condition.

The statement said, among others: “The forum observed and study the media report on Senate committee recommending increase in fuel price. As a social pressure group from Kano South, we distance ourselves and the people of the zone from the position of the committee led by a senator from our zone.

“It is sad that our senators could not recommend reduction in price.”

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Meanwhile, some 30 ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods are expected to arrive at Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports in Lagos from June 1 to June 19.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) made the disclosure in the latest edition of its publication, ‘Shipping Position’, in Lagos yesterday.

The NPA said that the ships contained buck wheat, bulk fertiliser, general cargo, empty containers, bulk corn, bulk sugar, base oil, bulk salt, crude palm oil, petrol and containers laden with goods.

Eight ships had earlier arrived at the ports waiting to berth with bulk fertiliser, bulk corn, buckwheat and petrol.

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Igwe AcheseNUPENGTUC
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