By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
The Federal Government has assured the tripartite labour community of the organised labour, organised private sector and indeed all Nigerians that there is currently no increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
A statement in Abuja by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said there will be no increase in the price of PMS for now, as discussions were still ongoing between the government and the organised labour as well as other stakeholders on the matter.
According to the statement, “I have made contact with the relevant authorities, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC and wish to assure members of the public, especially the organised labour and workers that there is no such increase for now.”
“We have ongoing discussions and standing committees comprising labour and government on one hand and another, comprising the office of the Vice President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Group Managing Director of (NNPC) and the Ministers of Labour, Petroleum and Finance.”
Ngige explained that these two discussions were ongoing concurrently and that the next meeting between the Federal government and the organised labour will hold immediately after the Easter break.
The Minister said the present attempt to hoist a fait accompli on the government and all its efforts runs against the ongoing discussions, adding, “We hence wish to warn the insidious harbingers of such information not to portray the government as cruel, irresponsible and unamenable to social dialogue and Collective Bargaining.
“Government will at the right time do appropriate pricing for petroleum products but not without taking other issues into consideration. This is to ensure that Nigerians don’t suffer the pangs of any price increase in petroleum products.
“Government has deregulated petroleum products and market forces have to dictate pricing. That notwithstanding, the government has decided to give it a human face by agreeing to some palliative measures that will make the price realistic and affordable to the ordinary Nigerians.
“We, therefore, wish to re-assure our partners in the organised labour, the NLC, TUC and affiliate unions that there will be no increase in the price of PMS for now. They should therefore continue to cooperate with the government side to have a fruitful outcome from the discussions.”