Richard Ginika Izuora
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, is mobilising to stage a nationwide strike should federal government increase fuel prices.
On Sunday, January 3; the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, urged workers and the citizens to prepare for total war against the fuel price hike.
Wabba also named Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, Kogi, Cross River, Abia and Imo states; as seven states yet to implement the N30,000 minimum wage that took effect on April 18, 2019.
In the message titled the YEAR 2022 FELICITATIONS: KEEPING OUR HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS ALIVE IN THE NEW YEAR, the NLC directed the affected states to commence indefinite strikes to force the respective state governments to implement the new wage.
The NLC, said Still, the government is not relenting in its determination to push through further increases in the pump price of petrol and which as usual had been dubbed as “removal of petrol subsidy”.
He continued, “We have told the government in very clear terms that Nigerians have suffered enough; and will not endure more punishment by way of further petrol and electricity price increases.
“Our position in this regard is predicated on four major grounds. First is our concern on the deceit and duplicity associated with the politics of “petrol price increase”; by successive Nigerian governments. The truth is that the perennial increase by the government in the pump price of petrol is actually a transfer of government failure and inability to effectively govern to the poor masses of our country.
“We are talking of the failure of government to manage Nigeria’s four oil refineries and inability to build new ones more than thirty years after the last petrochemical refinery in Port Harcourt was commissioned; the failure to rein in smuggling; and the failure to determine empirically the quantity of petrol consumed in Nigeria.
“The shame takes a gory dimension with the fact that Nigeria is the only OPEC country that cannot refine her own crude oil.
“During the negotiations that trailed the last increase in petroleum prices, Organized Labour made a cardinal demand on government; which is that it must take immediate steps to revamp and rehabilitate Nigeria’s refineries.
“A Technical Committee was set up to monitor progress in this regard. As we all know, the work of the Technical Committee like our abandoned public refineries has ground to a halt; and further negotiations with the government adjourned sine die for nearly one year now.
“As a responsible social partner, we have at different times called on the government; to show us what they are doing in response to our demands but silence is the response we get.”