18th December, 2021
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has fixed January 27 and February 1, 2022, for a nationwide protest against the planned removal of fuel subsidies.
This was confirmed in a communiqué signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, after a National Executive Council meeting held at the Labour House in Abuja on Friday.
The Labour Union said the planned removal of fuel subsidy was extremely insensitive to the acute hardship being experienced by Nigerians.
The NLC said, “Any further increase in petrol would expose Nigerian workers and the generality of the citizenry to acute deprivation, hardship, and suffering as it would worsen the already established trend of hyperinflation in the country.
“That the genesis of the crisis in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sub-sector especially as it relates to the petrol pump price regime could be linked to a policy of Importation Based Pricing Template for Refined Petroleum Products as against Local Production Based Pricing Template.
“That as long as the pricing of refined petroleum products is based on Importation Pricing Template which is heavily dependent on a volatile foreign exchange rate heavily skewed against the naira, the price of petrol and other refined petroleum products will continue to rise beyond the reach of average Nigerian workers and citizens.
“That the foregoing informed the traditional position of the congress to reject an incessant increase in the pump price of petrol which is usually disguised as deregulation or removal of fuel subsidy. The NEC, therefore, condemned plans by the Federal Government to increase the pump price of petrol.
“The NEC, therefore, resolved to reject and resist the planned increase in the pump price of petrol by the Federal Government as it described it as extremely insensitive to the acute hardship being experienced by Nigerian workers and people; that government should promote local capacity to refine petroleum products for domestic use.
“Pursuant to its rejection and resistance of further increase in the price of petrol, to organize protest rallies in all the 36 states of the federation on 27th January 2022 which would culminate in the submission of protest letters to all the 36 state governors. Subsequently, a national protest will take place on 1st February 2022 in Abuja.
“In case the government decides to announce new petrol prices before the proposed protests, the protest will kick off instantly and without any other further notice in every state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.”
The Federal Government had in November said plans are underway to remove fuel subsidy and provide “deserving” Nigerians with N5,000 monthly transport allowance.
Finance minister Zainab Ahmed explained that the continued subsidy in the oil sector was unsustainable and economically disingenuous.