Foolish Gamble! NLC Rejects Planned Removal Of Subsidy On Petrol

Foolish Gamble! NLC Rejects Planned Removal Of Subsidy On Petrol
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the planned removal of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government, insisting that government thought on the the move as cloudy.

The Congress, in a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba on Wednesday, described the planned removal of subsidy as ‘penny wise pound foolish gamble.’

The congress, while describing the move as a recipe for aggravated hyper-inflation, said: “The contemplation by government to increase the price of petrol by more than 200 per cent is a perfect recipe for an aggravated pile of hyper-inflation and astronomical increase in the price of goods and services.

“This will open a wide door to unintended social consequences such as degeneration of the current insecurity crises and possibly citizens’ revolt. This is not an outcome that any sane Nigerian wishes for.”

According to Wabba, the discussion between the Federal Government and the World Bank is a monologue, adding that the NLC would continue to insist on its rejection of deregulation based on import-driven model.

The NLC President further stated that it was difficult to convince Nigerian workers why the country is the only nation among the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that could not produce its own refined petroleum products and thus adopts the neo-liberal import production model of refined petroleum products.

He added: “We wish to reiterate our persuasion that the only benefit of deregulation based on import-driven model is that Nigerian consumers will infinitely continue to pay high prices for refined petroleum products.

“This situation will definitely be compounded by the astronomical devaluation of the naira which currently goes for N560 to US dollars in the parallel market. Thus, any attempt to compare the price of petrol in Nigeria to other countries would be set on a faulty premise as it would be akin to comparing apples to mangoes.

“We wish to warn that the bait by government to pay 40 million Nigerians N5,000 as palliative to cushion the effect of astronomical increase in the price of petrol is comical, to say the least.

“The total amount involved in this queer initiative is far more than the money government claims to spend currently on fuel subsidy. Apart from our concerns on the transparency of the disbursement given previous experiences with such schemes, we are wondering if government is not trying to rob Nigerians to pay Nigerians? Why pay me N5000 and then subject me to perpetual suffering

“Clearly, government thoughts on the so-called removal of fuel subsidy is cloudy and appears to be a “penny wise-pound foolish” gamble. It is clear that the palliative offered by government will not cure the cancer that will befall the mass of our people who suffer the double jeopardy of hype-inflation while their salaries remain fixed.”

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