Following the proposed plan of the Federal Government to increase the pump price of fuel, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), is threatening to shut down economic activities in January.
The NLC said that a nationwide strike may hit the country in January if the government effects the hike in fuel prices.
The development was contained in a communique which was obtained by a source, which reports that the National Executive Council of the NLC which comprises all Presidents, General Secretaries and Treasurers of NLC’s affiliate unions; Chairpersons and Secretaries of State Councils and the FCT; and members of the National Administrative Council resolved that any review of pricing template for petroleum products would further inflict pain on Nigerians.
The resolution was made based on FG’s new petrol pump price regime which it believes could be linked to a ‘Policy of Importation Based Pricing Template for Refined Petroleum Products as against Local Production Based Pricing Template.’
The NLC said it ‘Rejects and Resists’ 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.
It said, “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, the NLC would 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.”
According to the communique, 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.
It said the price of petrol and other refined petroleum products would continue to rise beyond the reach of average Nigerian workers and citizens.
The NLC also said that it would “worsen the already established trend of hyper-inflation in the country.”
On inflation, the NLC lamented the hyper-inflation in the prices of basic goods and services, especially essential commodities including cooking gas and building materials such as cement.
The NLC also noted that the plans by the National Assembly and Nigeria Customs Service to introduce excise duties on carbonated drinks manufactured in Nigeria is not in the interest of Nigerians.
It called for the suspension of FG’s plan to privatise Nigeria’s railways, public healthcare facilities and concession of Nigeria’s major international airports.
The NLC also said, “Plans to privatize and concession prime national assets would be tantamount to ‘State Capture’ of the commonwealth.