A major showdown may be brewing between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the federal government over the sudden removal of petrol subsidies without fiscal cushions to absorb the shocks.
On Wednesday, checks by Daily Sun showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), the sole importer of petrol, has quietly hiked the pumped price of the premium product from N194 to as high as N557/litre.
This also a new pricing template showing that petrol now sells for between N488 and N557 per litre depending on the state the station is located.
In Lagos and Abuja, the retail petrol prices at NNPC mega filling stations vary between N488 and N537 per litre, while the price in Borno state is N557 per litre.
The implications of the decision at this time, the NLC said, were too grave for the country’s security and well-being of Nigerians, wondering if Tinubu gave a thought to why his predecessors in office refused to implement this highly injurious policy decision.
In 2012, President Tinubu, then an ex-Governor of Lagos State, vehemently rejected and torpedoed plans by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to ditch the subsidy scheme.
Nonetheless, he announced in his inaugural speech on Monday that the era of fuel subsidy payment was gone, a comment considered as reckless as it triggered panic buying and mass hoarding of products.
Although he backtracked 24 hours later to say that the policy would not take off immediately, this did not offer sufficient restraint to the build-up of long queues of anxious motorists and other categories of consumers of petrol who thronged the filling stations to stockpile petrol.
The queues, which were noticed initially in Abuja and its environs, have since spread to other parts of the country and are still growing.
However, representatives of the Federal Government are expected to meet with the Nigeria Labour Congress today by 2 pm over the planned removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant product scarcity imbroglio.
The NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, made the disclosure during an interview with Channels TV on Wednesday morning.
The NLC on Tuesday, said it was not aware of the president’s consultation with critical stakeholders before embarking on the decision to yank off subsidy, which has grave implications on national polity.
Source: Daily Sun