Labour demands reversal of petrol price hike, insists strike remains an option

*Labour unions maintains strike is an option, as almost eight weeks after the negotiations, the Federal Government has not shown any commitment to all the items that were agreed upon

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Nigerian Labour unions are demanding a reversal of a recent hike in the petrol price per litre.

The unions stressed they did not endorse deregulation that is anchored on the price increase in the first place.

Emma Ugboajah, General Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), informed The Guardian in the Presidential Villa, that Labour movement rather agreed that local refineries should be rehabilitated to boost local oil refining.

The NLC General Secretary disclosed that almost eight weeks after the negotiations, the Federal Government has not shown any commitment to all the items that were agreed upon.

Ugboajah said out of 161 buses that were powered gas, none of them has been supplied to the movement.

He stated: “We never supported deregulation that is anchored on price increment. Our minimum request is that the Federal Government must reverse back to N160.

“We agreed that the refineries should be out to work. We have not seen any work in that regard.

Also, we have seen the NNPC maintaining a stranglehold on importation.”

Likewise, Quadri Olaleye, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), stressed that things are going out hand if urgent steps are not taken.

“We cannot pretend that things are not going right. It seems government wants to create crisis when none exists. We have been coming here to ensure the hardship on the people is reduced, said Olaleye.

The President of TUC stated:  “I want to say we are not happy. Government is showing high level of insincerity with us.

“I receive a lot of text messages from Nigerians abusing us. We find it difficult to move freely.

“I believe that government is sponsoring some people to attack us. Some of people stayed away from this meeting because they are afraid of backlash.”

Olaleye maintained that “academic staffers have been on strike. We set up a committee for more than two months and nothing has happened.

“A month to the end of the year, nothing has been done….”

Dr. Chris Ngige, Honourable Minister for Labour and Employment, however, stated that the meeting was supposed to have been held in October, but for #EndSars protests that rocked the nation last month.

The Federal Government is ready to begin rolling out the palliatives as from Monday (November 23).

Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), also said government is already working on some of the agreed areas, including the reduction of tariff on the importation of cars from 35% to 10%, besides other steps he stated that the Federal Government has taken.

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