- …noted that the TUC was not against the removal of the fuel subsidy if it would yield positive results.
EKO HOT BLOG reports that key labour unions in Nigeria met on Tuesday in Abuja where they outlined the conditions the Federal Government must meet before it would be allowed to remove fuel subsidy.
Officials of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), among others, spoke at the Annual General Meeting and inauguration of the newly elected National Executive Committee of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Abuja.
National President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye, said the energy crisis in Nigeria was “solely due to the incompetence and corruption of the government.”
He said, “The fuel subsidy and the proposed hike in fuel price is a rather prominent and recurring one. Nigeria is the only OPEC member country that imports more than 90 to 95 per cent of refined petroleum products for consumption.
“Nigeria has a total of five refineries across the country of which four are owned and managed by the government, and one by NDPR (Niger Delta Petroleum Resources Limited).
“It might interest you to know that none of the government-owned refineries is functioning, yet in the past 10 years alone, the government has wasted about $9.5bn for turnaround maintenance of the moribund refineries.”
Olaleye noted that the TUC was not against the removal of the fuel subsidy if it would yield positive results.
“Rather, we are inquisitive as to what the government has to offer following the removal,” he stated.
The TUC president added, “How can we trust the government and be certain that they will actually remove it this time round, because in the past, they have claimed to remove the so called ‘subsidy’, so how can what has been removed be removed again?
“Will there be construction and utilisation of modular refineries as the government has previously promised and failed to deliver? Will there be a rehabilitation of existing moribund refineries?
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“What will the government do to put an end to dependence on imported fuel? It is imperative to note these questions because we need adequate answers on what the government has to offer as failed promises from the government have become the order of the day.”
The TUC demanded that if the subsidy was eventually removed, the government should engage more on expenditures that were beneficial to the economy rather than projects that generate losses.
“There should be the establishment of modular refineries and construction of functioning refineries in the country,” Olaleye said.
Also speaking on the issue of petrol subsidy, the National President, IPMAN, Debo Ahmed, gave credence to the position of the TUC.
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