The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the federal government against the planned increase in the prices of petroleum products.
While speaking at the opening of its National Executive Council meeting in Sokoto, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, expressed concern over ongoing media campaign and contradictory statements from the NNPC and government officials on the rumoured plan to increase the pump price of petrol.
The congress also backtracked on its earlier support for the plan by the Buhari administration to borrow about $29 billion, saying the government should instead pursue and recover stolen government funds and use same to fund infrastructural development
He said the congress was totally opposed to any form of increase in prices of petrol as such an act would further increase the sufferings of Nigerians, adding that congress would mobilise Nigerians to resist any such increase.
Wabba said: “While Nigerians are still struggling to cope with the severe hardship imposed on them by the last increase in the price of petroleum products, there are ongoing media campaigns and contradictory statements by the NNPC and government officials on yet another plan to review the template for the pricing of petroleum products.
“We are totally opposed to any further increases as we are yet to see the benefits of the last increase even as the current Minimum Wage Act has not been reviewed.
“It would amount to unleashing further hardship on workers and the poor if any further price increase is allowed.
“The government must not take us for granted. Indeed, the patience and perseverance of the entire populace must not be taken for granted, as we will sure mobilise the entire citizenry for mass protests in addition to other legitimate actions to resist any further increase.
“What is urgently required of government is not another increase but a downward review of the current pump price of petroleum products.
“The current National Minimum Wage Act has long elapsed, and as you are already aware, we have long submitted our proposal for a review but Government seems not in a haste to recognise the urgency in attending to our demands.
“Nigerian workers and pensioners are as important to the growth of the economy and must not be allowed to continue to suffer further hardships.
The Nations Newspaper