The Trade Union Congress (TUC) says the decision by the Federal government to propose a new pump price for Petrol shows it has no mercy for the poor in the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, while speaking at the launch of the Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimisation Programme in Abuja, hinted that there might soon be an increase in petroleum pump price. He said since there is an increased demand for oil globally, this will translate to an increase in the oil price which would mean an increase in revenue for Nigeria. However, an increase in oil price would also mean an increase in the cost of petroleum products as the country depends heavily on imports due to a lack of domestic refining.
“As desirable as this is, this has serious consequences as well on product prices. So we want to take the pleasure and we should as a country be ready to take the pain.
Today, the NNPC is taking a big hit from this. We all know that there is no provision in the budget for subsidy. So, somewhere down the line, I believe that the NNPC cannot continue to take this blow. There is no way because there is no provision for it.
As a country, let us take the benefits of the higher crude oil prices and I hope we will also be ready to take a little pain on the side of higher product prices.”he said
Reacting to Sylva’s disclosure, the TUC, in a statement titled ‘Why are you always quick to tell us about rise in crude price?’ said the planned increase in petrol pump price points to the fact that the government has no mercy for the poor. The TUC said the government appears not to be disturbed by the poverty-ridden plight of Nigerians and the unemployment/insecurity situation that their obnoxious policies have created in the country.
The statement, signed by its president, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, reads:
“The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has expressed shock over the recent statement credited to the Ministry of Petroleum on the recent rise in the price of crude in the international market.
The question is why is government always quick to tell us about the rise in the price of crude in the international market and the need to increase the price of PMS; but it takes them weeks, and sometimes months to implement the agreement reached with the organised labour? It all points to one thing: they have no mercy for the poor people of this country.
In every move and statement by government officials, you could see and feel their care-free attitude and indifference to our plight. It appears they are not disturbed by the poverty-ridden plight of Nigerians and the unemployment/insecurity situation that their obnoxious policies have created in the country. There is nothing honorable about what the minister has said.
Nigeria is among the six oil-producing countries in the world. Reports have it that our oil is one of the best, giving us an edge over others, unfortunately, we have not taken advantage of that. We have four refineries that are not functional. Why are they not functional and why is the government closing its eyes to it? Their refusal to attend to them is the reason why the country is subjected to the vagaries and volatility of the price of crude in the international market.
Nigeria is now depending on Dangote and Niger Republic refineries to supply us fuel! Dangote is an individual while the Niger Republic is far less than Lagos in population. The pain the masses of the country bear is a needless one. It is artificially created.
The TUC, and organised labour is trying seriously to avert a major industrial crisis. We have tightened our belt so hard to the extent that we are finding it difficult to breathe but the government seems not to care. The government’s knee is on our neck and we are appealing to them to have a change of heart.”