NLC Finally Barks At Fuel Price Hike
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has finally decided to bark at the recent increment in the price of petrol in Nigeria, saying lamely that it rejected the hike.
The federal government raised the pump price to N170 per litre, while the labour leaders looked on, and Nigerian have wondered why the organized labour has become docile.
Organised labour movement in the country, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), had agreed on 28 September to suspend a planned nationwide strike action against hike in the price of petrol and electricity tariff, a move most Nigerians saw as suspicious. Other even said the union leaders sold out for committee appointments and other perks.
They had promised Nigerians in September to reconvene the strike action without a notice if there is a need to do so after a two-week suspension should the government fail to hold its part of the bargain.
However, NLC resident Ayuba Wabba, in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday said labour condemned and rejected the recent increase in price petrol, adding that the increment has only exacerbated the current level of pain and anguish in the country.
In his words, “The recent increase in the pump price of PMS is clearly against the spirit and content of what Organized Labour agreed with the government at the last negotiations over the last fuel price increase.”
The labour leader, who said the government had not been alive to its responsibilities, stressed that it had painted the labour unions in bad image in the eyes of Nigerians with recent moves.
He said, “It has also cast in very bad light our utmost good faith with regards to government explanations that it lacks funds to continue bankrolling the so-called subsidy payments as such would sooner than later cripple the entire economy, throw the country into severe economic crisis and cause loss of jobs in millions.
“While we await the full recovery of our refineries as contained in our agreement with government, Nigerians cannot be made to bleed endlessly for the failures of successive government to properly manage our refineries, ensure value for money for the numerous Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) which were poorly and barely executed and the horrifying lack of interest in prosecuting public officials and private business people who have profited from the rot in our petroleum sector and the collective misery they have imposed on the general population.
“The truth is that we would not have been in this precarious situation if the government had been alive to its responsibilities. There is a limit to what the citizens can tolerate if this abysmal increases in the price of refined petroleum products and other essential goods and services continue.”