The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday said the importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was “imposed” on the Federal Government.
The NLC said it would meet on Thursday to review many pronouncements made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on fuel subsidy removal.
The NLC called on Nigerians to be ready to fully mobilise and vehemently reject Federal Government’s unfriendly policies by all means if they are implemented in 2022 as proposed.
President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, spoke in Abuja during an interview with journalists on the sidelined of the 48th National Executive Council meeting of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).
Wabba urged the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that the amount agreed on the consolidated health salary structure (CONHESS) is captured in the 2022 budget to avoid another round of industrial action in the health sector next year.
He also warned political leaders not to neglect governance in preparation for the 2023 general elections.
Wabba said: “NLC has remained very consistent in its position about the issue of what we call subsidy.
“The position of NLC is that Nigeria has no reason to continue to import refined products for domestic use particularly PMS because we’ve also found out that we are the only member country of OPEC that is doing that.
“It’s an imposed policy on Nigeria, and our leaders must find a way and means to actually get us out of that imposition.
“We have made this point very clear that because of the devalued value of our currency, it then means that the policy of importation will continue to have a negative impact on consumers.
“We have seen that with kerosene, we have seen that also with diesel which our government has claimed that they’ve been fully deregulated, but the price has never been at the reach of ordinary Nigerians. Even the cooking gas, people are now using firewood.
“So, the position of NLC remains very consistent that we’ll be against any policy of removing subsidies in the name of deregulation if it is based on importation.
“We’ve said so that we export our jobs, and yet our refineries remain under lock and key. It’s a patriotic position that many Nigerians have supported.”
He also warned the government not to transfer its inefficiency to the Nigerian people by inflicting more pains on the masses in 2022, saying N5,000 palliative policy is not sustainable.