By Emmanuel Nduka
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned the Nigerian Government that it will resist plans to remove fuel subsidy in 2022, saying the action will be met with massive nationwide protests.
The NLC said the planned protests would commence without warning if the Government goes ahead to announce new fuel prices.
The protest is slated for January 27, 2022, and would culminate in the submission of protest letters to all the 36 State Governors, after which a national protest would also hold in Abuja on February 1.
These were part of the resolutions of the National Executive Council meeting of the NLC which was held at the Labour House, Abuja, on Friday.
According to the NLC, the decision would expose Nigerian workers and citizens to untold hardship and suffering, and further worsen the already established trend of hyperinflation in the country.
It attributed the crisis in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sub-sector, especially as it relates to the petrol pump price regime to the policy of importation based on a pricing template for refined petroleum products as against local production-based pricing template.
The union submitted that the price of petrol and other refined petroleum products would continue to rise beyond the reach of average Nigerian workers and citizens 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.
Thus, it condemned plans by the Nigerian 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 January 27, 2022 which would culminate in the submission of protest letters to all the 36 state governors.
“Subsequently, a national protest will take place on February 1, 2022 in Abuja; and in case 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 communique signed by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja read
The Nigerian Government had said it would remove the fuel subsidy next year following advice by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, and replace it with a N5,000 monthly stipend for transportation to 40 million poor Nigerians,