By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja, July 2, 2020
The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) has urged the Federal Government to revert to the old pump price of N121 for the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, made the call in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Wabba said that the NLC condemned and rejected the increase in the price of petrol from N121 to N143.
The NLC president noted that the hike in pump price of petrol was announced without the approval of the board of Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the oversight ministry.
“We demand that the Federal Government reverts to the old price of petroleum.
“Especially, given the fact that price of crude oil in the international market has only slightly increased from the previous price before the so-called downward review was announced two months ago.
“We also renew our call for a national conversation on the management of our oil assets which we insist must be in tandem with the provisions of our country’s constitution.
“The constitution clearly mandates that the commanding heights of our national economy must be held by the government in the interest of the citizens of Nigeria.
“We demand that our four national petroleum refineries must be fixed without any further delay.
“Nigerian workers want to be apprised of the timeline set by the government to ensure that this is effectively done.
“It is even worse that this is coming at a time when our people are living on the precipice of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
He said that Nigerians would recall that the last downward review in the price of petrol was at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown.
He noted that the economic benefits of the so-called downward review was hardly enjoyed by ordinary Nigerians who were mostly indoors.
“Just as the lockdown is being eased out and as soon as the inter-state travel ban was lifted, the government decided to hike the petrol price.
“Nigerian people and workers are forced to interpret this move as grand mischief and deceit.
“It is clear even to the blind that the crisis in our downstream petroleum sub-sector is self, nay government,-inflicted.
“The refusal by successive governments to fix our national oil refineries is at the root of this problem,” he said.
He said that Nigerian workers and people must not only be treated fairly but must be seen to have been so treated by their government.