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Saturday, 03 June 2023 07:03

Fuel Subsidy Removal: NLC to embark on nationwide strike, protest

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Friday said it would embark on a nationwide protest from next Wednesday if the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNCPL) refuses to reverse the new price regime in the oil sector.

The NLC president, Joe Ajaero, disclosed this while addressing journalists on the resolutions of its National Executive Council meeting held in Abuja on Friday.

President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, in his inaugural address at Eagle Square, Abuja, declared that there would no longer be a petroleum subsidy regime as it was not sustainable.

“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime, which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources,” Mr Tinubu said.

Following the announcement, the NNPCL on Wednesday directed its outlets nationwide to sell fuel between N480 and N570 per litre, an almost 200 per cent increase from the initial price below N200.


Speaking on Friday, Mr Ajaero said the union is calling for a proper investigation in the process of subsidy to know those who are beneficiaries and the amount that is involved.

He said the attempt to downplay the issue of “fraudulent practices in the subsidy regime” should not be tolerated by all well-meaning Nigerians.

He warned that the leadership of NLC should be conscious of negotiating with people without portfolios.

“It is instructive that until the government is properly constituted and (there are) people who will negotiate with labour and such people with mandate and capacity to commit to the government of the day, such negotiations may not be valued.

“Consequently, the NLC decided that if by Wednesday next week the NNPCL, a private limited liability company, that illegally announced a price regime in the oil sector, refuses to revert itself for negotiation to continue, that the NLC and all its affiliates, will withdraw their services and commence protests nationwide until this is complied with.


“And that the NNPCL doesn’t have the monopoly to act illegally, even as a private company. The NLC NEC, therefore, directed all state councils and all industrial unions to commence mobilisation from this moment to make sure that this action is enforced,” he said.


Nigeria spent over N4 trillion last year on petrol subsidy, more than it spent on healthcare and education with many experts arguing that such was unsustainable.

This year, the immediate past Muhammadu Buhari government only provided budgetary allocation for petrol subsidy until 30 June after saying it would leave the incoming administration to make a final decision on the matter.

However, the three leading presidential candidates in the 25 February presidential election (Mr Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi) promised to remove the petrol subsidy if elected.

Opponents of the removal, such as the NLC, however, argue that it would lead to an increase in the prices of goods and services and further impoverish millions of citizens in a country where almost half of the population already lives in poverty.

[Premium Times]

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