Fuel Scarcity: NLC Cautions Against Subsidy Removal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Fuel Scarcity: NLC Cautions Against Subsidy Removal

Posted: Nov 17, 2015 at 10:09 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
  • As Petrol Sells For N300 Per Litre

By Innocent Oweh, Abuja

Nigeria’s workers body, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has cautioned the Federal Government against plans to remove subsidy on petroleum products, as the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)-fuel- persists in most parts of the country.

This comes amidst report that the product currently sells between N150 to N300 per litre across parts of the country where they are available in scarce measures.

President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement, reacting to the current fuel crisis on Tuesday, said it would be an act of cowardice for government to hands-off regulating the prices of petroleum products and leaving it to the whips and caprices of a few marketers who are bent on frustrating the government and Nigerians.

According to Wabba, “The on-going scarcity is a deliberate strategy by the cabal in the oil industry to force the hands of government to remove subsidy and therefore work against the interest of the Nigerian masses.

“They have done this and succeeded in the past, most particularly in the governments of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, through blackmail and deliberate hoarding of petroleum products”.

He said government should expedite action in resolving the crisis as the scarcity has resulted in skyrocketing prices and long queues spreading to different parts of the country.

The NLC President said owing to the hoarding of the product,it now sells for between N130-N300 per litre, a development that was creating untold hardship for Nigerians.

“We note that this is happening despite assurances from government and its agencies that there is enough fuel being distributed around the country and that citizens need not go into panic buying.

“That the situation has not visibly improved after more than 72 hours of such assurance means that the marketers and other groups that have held the country hostage over the years for their unearned profiteering from the petroleum sector are still determined to continue as if it is business as usual.

“It is completely unacceptable to us that Nigerians are forced to go through the perennial hardship especially towards the end of the year, and now have to cough out between N130 – N300 per litre of petrol in different parts of the country, instead of the official N87 per litre price.

“This for us shows a clear determination of the unpatriotic operators in the petroleum sector working to circumvent government regulation through blackmail and other unorthodox methods.

“Government needs to urgently address the issue of hoarding by marketers and others who have continued to canvass for so-called deregulation in which government would hands-off regulating prices of petroleum products. Given that petroleum products continue to be the artery of our economy.

“Our government must work out a plan to over time be in a position to refine all our crude oil in the country, to add value therein before exporting. This would yield more foreign exchange for the nation, against the current trading in the primary product which the country has engaged in since oil was discovered in commercial quantity back in 1956,” he stated.