ABUJA, Nigeria — The Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has vehemently rejected the Federal Government’s new fuel pricing policy and its plan to distribute N8,000 monthly to 12 million Nigerians as a relief effort.
On Tuesday, July 18, 2023, Mr. Mele Kyari, Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, announced a new price of N617 for petroleum products across all outlets.
Shortly before, the Federal Government revealed its intention to provide financial aid to 12 million Nigerians in response to the abolition of fuel subsidies.
However, these decisions have met with intense backlash from the NLC.
NLC President Mr. Joe Ajaero labeled the new pump price as “anti-people” and decried the financial relief initiative proposed by the government.
“Nigerians are being deceived,” Ajaero stated. He called into question the role of the NNPC and the independent marketers claimed to be importing the fuel. “NNPC cannot import and claim the fuel is imported by independent marketers,” he added.
Ajaero also expressed concern over the growing disparity between the rich and the poor in the country.
He argued that the removal of fuel subsidies and the rise in fuel prices predominantly impact the less privileged, while the government continues to allocate substantial funds to National Assembly members for vehicle and furniture purchases.
“The government is provoking Nigeria and attacking workers, students and others,” he stated.
Ajaero further challenged the government’s financial aid plan, questioning the statistics behind the initiative.
“We, at NLC, have rejected that because we are not clear on how and where the government got the statistics it is relying on for the planned palliatives,” he said.
Ajaero warned that the NLC will convene to discuss the new developments and decide on the most appropriate response.
“This is unacceptable,” he stated, adding that the labour union needs to fully understand the government’s actions before making an informed decision.
These developments mark another episode in the ongoing disputes over fuel pricing and social welfare initiatives in Nigeria.