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TUC flays govt over attempt to limit fuel imports to few operators

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The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has condemned move by the Federal Government to limit fuel import to few operators in the oil and gas industry.

The union described the planned move as monopolistic and a deliberate attempt to frustrate problems the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was intended to solve.

In a statement by TUC, yesterday, the workers, who kicked against the planned move, urged that the market should be left open if the government truly wants to be sincere in addressing the problem of the sector.

President and Secretary General of TUC, Quadri Olaleye and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, who stated that the move was a conspiracy to waste another opportunity to fix the sector, noted that the lawmakers’ position showed that they were serving the interest of some few individuals to the detriment of the over 97 per cent of the country’s population.

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They argued that the country could not afford to continue toying with the oil and gas sector, as it remained the only major source of foreign exchange.

The union urged the lawmakers to rise up and provide true leadership instead of serving the interest of few capitalists.

While calling on the government, especially the legislative arm, to rescind their decision immediately as it would only worsen the problem it is meant to solve, said it was high time “these principalities and powers” removed their knees from the neck of Nigeria and Nigerians.

The union said: “There is no sugarcoating the matter; the capitalist trajectory in Nigeria is morally, economically and legally wrong as it tends to impoverish Nigeria and Nigerians. It hinders the country’s financial and economic progress because it transfers a huge chunk of public wealth to “favoured businessmen.

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“This is not only treacherous but also a serious form of corruption. We urge them to use their money for the social benefits of all; after all, they enjoy forex largesse financed by Nigerians’ hard earned oil revenue.

“The pertinent questions are; how well are the products and markets controlled by these same few people doing? Why are the lawmakers failing to see the large number of companies and employment that could be created when more investors are allowed to invest? Are the lawmakers not disturbed by the unprecedented insecurity challenges in the country caused by unemployment? How long are these people going to continue to exploit the country?

“The congress is not against the companies holding refining licences, we are only saying the sector should be left open so the destiny of the country will not be in the hands of a few individuals.”

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