The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) issued a warning, stating that it might withdraw from talks with the federal government over the removal of petrol subsidies, which has led to a sharp increase in fuel prices. The NLC accused the government of callousness and criticized the transparency of its palliative measures to address the hardships caused by the subsidy removal.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) defended the fuel price hike, attributing it to market forces and not supply issues. The Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, stated that the petrol price will fluctuate as per market realities and that there is a robust supply of fuel in the country.
The Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) opposed the upward adjustment of petrol pump prices, urging the federal government to alleviate the burden faced by citizens due to harsh economic decisions.
The NLC’s threat to withdraw from talks came after the federal government proposed to pay N70 billion to the National Assembly members and N36 billion to the judiciary, which the NLC deemed as insensitive and a form of bribery. The NLC also expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s palliative measures and lack of confidence in the implementation process.
The petrol price hike led to queues at filling stations in Abuja and Lagos, causing transportation costs to soar and leading to a reduction in the number of vehicles on the streets.
Opinion: The removal of petrol subsidies has triggered widespread discontent and protests in Nigeria due to the significant increase in fuel prices. The government’s efforts to address the situation with palliative measures have been met with skepticism and criticism from labor unions and citizens. The sharp increase in fuel prices adds to the economic challenges faced by Nigerians, especially amid rising inflation and talk of an impending increase in electricity tariffs. While the government asserts that market forces are responsible for the hike, the public is demanding transparency in the implementation of palliatives and a more inclusive dialogue to find sustainable solutions to the economic hardships. The situation requires careful consideration and proactive steps from the government to ease the burden on the Nigerian people.