By Okey Ndiribe
ABUJA – Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has foreclosed holding any meeting with Federal Government over the increment in the price of petrol from N65 to N141 per litre until the move was reversed.
This was contained in a statement issued, yesterday, by NLC’s acting General Secretary, Mr. Owei Lakemfa.
Sources, however, said the governments is not resting on its oars as it has set aside N3.6 billion to counter the planned strike by the labour unions.
The fund is to mobilise traditional and opinion leaders, influential media personalities and media organisation to counter the position of labour unions on the removal of fuel subsidy.
The source said the fund will be given to government officials, top bureaucrats and appointees of the administration to mobilise opinion against the move by labour and its affiliates.
A source said it was a battle of the mind and that the government was determined to break labour by presenting its point of view, especially in projecting the benefits of the subsidy to the Nigerian people.
However, according to Lakemfa, “Labour leaders are busy mobilising for the indefinite strike action and mass protests which commence from Monday 9, and have no time for frivolous, unsustainable and unproductive ‘dialogue’ with the Presidency or any of its committees.
“These stories of meetings with Federal Government are mischievous and part of government’s strategy to break the fuel hike protest.
“The negative impact of the increase in petrol price is there to see; astronomical rise in the cost of transportation, school fees, medical bills, food and services.
“The Nigerian people, unlike those in government are independent minded and cannot be bought by any group be they marketers, IMF or World Bank.”
The NLC scribe advised the Jonathan administration to wake up to the reality that Nigerians have resolved to resist its punitive policies and are determined to reclaim their country from those who are intent on bringing it down.