The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the new pump price of
petroleum products and plans by the Federal Government to distribute N8,000
to 12 million Nigerians.
While the Federal Government few days ago announced plans to lift 12 million
Nigerians with N8,000 monthly to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal,
Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),
Mr.Mele Kyari, had on Tuesday announced N617 as the new price for the
petroleum product in all its outlets.
Reacting on Channels Television Politics Today, NLC president, Mr. Joe Ajaero
said the new pump price was anti-people.
He also said the labour union rejects in its entirety the money and the figure
said to be captured by the government’s palliative initiative.
He said: “I think Nigerians are being deceived. In the first instance, going by the
claim that the independent marketers are now bringing the product into the
country, Nigerians would want to know how many are involved in this.
“Nigerians also want to know the role of the NNPC in the current dispensation.
NNPC cannot import and claim the fuel is imported by independent marketers.
“Furthermore, the government withdrew subsidy from PMS and while we were
discussing the aftermath of the withdrawal, another price increase.
“Now, why would the government go to court to seek a court injunction? Why
will the government take other measures if it is not its business”, he queried.
“It is like Nigerians have entered a rein when Nigerians are being punished
unnecessarily and where lies are the order of the day.
“I think clearly, the government is toiling with Nigerians and it is a reign of
“If the same government is approving N70 billion for the members of the
National Assembly to buy vehicles and furniture but you’re increasing the cost of
fuel, should the removal of subsidy affect only the poor?
“This policy will further increase the margin between the poor and the rich as it
is clear that the government is taking away all the benefits meant for the poor
and being given to the rich.
“Labour is not involved in the arithmetic of fuel price fluctuation. We can only
make a better informed decision when we understand what the government is
trying to do and what it has done so far.”
On the palliatives, Ajaero counters: “The N8,000 to 12 million households in
Nigeria is another issue. How did the government arrive at the statistics it is
“We, at NLC, have rejected that because we are not clear on how and where the
government got the statistics it is relying on for the planned palliatives.”
“There is a committee in place between government and labour to work out the
modalities. The government cannot set up the committee and go back to do
another thing. This is unacceptable.
On what the NLC will do in view of the fuel price increase, Ajaero said: “We’ll
meet to make a decision and best to address the new development.”