Why We Object To Subsidy Removal –NLC | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why We Object To Subsidy Removal –NLC

Posted: May 11, 2015 at 9:09 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sylvester Enoghase / Lagos

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has given reasons as to why it objects to removal of subsidy saying its stance was in the interest of the common man and generality of Nigerians.

The Labour movement  said the pain Nigerians have been subjected to have been exacerbated by the embarrassing tirade between the fuel marketers and the Federal government represented by the Coordinating Minister on the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the actual amount owed the marketers.

NLC argued that subsidy cannot be removed now until government has resolved the issues of revamping the grounded refineries, building new ones and putting an end to importation of refined oil products. Until these are put in place, which the body noted will take some time, subsidy will still remain.

President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, addressing journalists in Lagos at the weekend said subsidy itself isn’t a bad idea as it is done in other parts of the world, he however stated that the problem in the case with Nigeria was that of sincerity, transparency and proper management.

The NLC Boss emphasized the corruption that characterizes the management of subsidy in Nigeria is alarming, adding that if government is sincere in her purpose on the subsidy then it should first address the corruption surrounding subsidy and be transparent in her dealings with the marketers.

He said; “if government had been transparent from the outset, Nigerians and the necessary stakeholders would have access to facts and figures on subsidy payment and the issue of discrepancies in payment as alleged by the marketers who now hold the country to ransom would not have happened”.

“Our position on this has not changed as we remain opposed to the removal of petroleum subsidy. If government is truly owing marketers, they should pay them immediately as the long queues at fuel stations has led to loss of lots of productive hours since workers are either unable to get to work or spend long hours searching for fuel.”

The scarcity has also led to sharp practices with workers paying between N120 to N130 per litre at some filling stations.  For those commuting by public transport, they now pay more to get to work even when there are no increases in salaries” Wabba added