April 2, 2023

Labour threatens strike against Tinubu’s govt in June over fuel subsidy 



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have threatened to embark on strike action in June against the incoming administration of the President-elect Bola Tinubu over removal of fuel subsidy. 

The two labour bodies, however, said the only condition, not to go on strike is the revitalisation of government refineries across the country and allowance of modular refineries.

According to the organised Labour, the failure to do this, would bring its opposition to the subsidy removal and mobilise workers to protest against the decision.

President Muhammadu Buhari had stated that the subsidy on petrol would be removed before the end of its tenure on May 29, 2023.

But, in reaction, President of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Hakeem Ambali, said the union remained oppose to the removal of fuel subsidy.

Ambali, who is the national treasurer of the NLC, stated this in a recent interview in Abuja.

“We are opposed to the removal of fuel subsidy until the Nigerian government acts responsibly by fixing our moribund refineries,” he stated.

“It is a shame that Nigerians are made to suffer for the incompetence of the government. We are the only oil producing country in the world that imports petroleum products; let the government license and serve as the regulator by standardising the operation of private refineries to service the domestic value chain.”

The National President, National Union of Teachers (NUT), Titus Amba, said the union would stand by the decision of the NLC on fuel subsidy removal.

“We are working together with the NLC. The position of the NLC as regards the issue of fuel subsidy is our own position,” he stated.

In his position on the matter, the TUC advised the President-elect to guarantee the smooth running of modular refineries across the country, while noting that fuel subsidy was a scam.

The Vice-President of the TUC, who also doubles as the National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Tommy Etim, explained why Nigeria needed functional modular refineries.

Etim advised the incoming administration of Tinubu to set the ball rolling.

He said, “The subsidy regime is a scam. I doubt if there is any subsidy to remove. Every day we wake up to new fuel prices and tariffs, so which subsidy are they talking about again?

“I think we have passed the level where we get shocked or get moved whenever we hear about the removal of any subsidy. Our advice to the incoming administration is for them not to hide under the shadow of any subsidy. We were made to believe that there was a subsidy. The solution now is for our refineries to work.”