The Nigeria Labour Congress has fired warning shots at the Federal Government, urging her not to contemplate a fuel hike amidst the present economic woes.
The congress also backtracked on its earlier support for the plan that the Buhari administration to borrow about $29 billion, saying the government should instead pursue and recover government funds stashed away and use same to fund infrastructural development
Speaking at the opening of its National Executive Council meeting in Sokoto, President of Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba expressed concern over ongoing contradictory statements from the NNPC on the rumored price increase of petrol.
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Ayuba Wabba said:
“While Nigerians are still struggling to cope with the severe hardship imposed on them by the last increase in the price of petroleum products, there are ongoing media campaigns and contradictory statements by the NNPC and government officials on yet another plan to review the template for the pricing of petroleum products.”
“We are totally opposed to any further increases as we are yet to seeing the benefits of the last increase even as the current Minimum Wage Act has not been reviewed. It would amount to unleashing further hardship on workers and the poor if any further price increase is allowed.”
“The government must not take us for granted; indeed the patience and perseverance of the entire populace must not be taken for granted as we will sure mobilise the entire citizenry for mass protests in addition to other legitimate actions to resist any further increase.”
“What is urgently required of government is not another increase but a downward review of the current pump price of petroleum products.”
While commending the Federal Government in its sustained battle against corruption and determination to ensure good governance in our country, Wabba said the battle should be more systemic and institutionalized.
“We will support government in all areas that will promote good governance at all levels and all facets of the Nigerian society as long as it sustains its commitment to delivering people driven governance that will promote decency and growth in all spheres of our socio economic and political endeavour.”
“But we will not support the plan by the Federal Government to borrow more money from anywhere as we obviously have enough to attend to our immediate needs.”
“For instance, if the government vigorously pursues those in possession of our collective wealth, especially multinationals who have refused to remit funds meant for corporate Nigeria, we would have enough to rejuvenate the economy and the quality of the lives of our people.”
“We are also opposed to the idea of giving public funds to bail out commercial banks or interests, especially the recent proposal to give out $7 billion as bailout funds to commercial banks without any repayment schedule whatsoever.”