July 19, 2023

Subsidy: Petrol price hike not economics, but impunity – NLC president Ajaero

petrol scarcity

petrol scarcity

By Ayobami Okerinde

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, has reacted to the new fuel pump price in the country. 

Vanguard had earlier reported that fuel was sold for N617 in Abuja, Lagos, and different parts of the country.

Speaking on Tuesday in an interview with Channels Television, the NLC president said Nigerians are being deceived by the new fuel pump price.

He said, “Nigerians are being deceived, that is the official reaction. Because in the first instance, if you are saying that the independent marketers are now bringing the products into Nigeria; Nigerians would want to know how many of them and for us to see the list of those who are importing the products into Nigeria.”

Ajaero also questioned the role of the NNPC in the new dispensation.

He said, “NNPC cannot import and say it is imported by independent marketers, that is not true.”

The NLC president further accused the FG of ‘toying’ with Nigerians following the decision of the Senate and House of Representatives to purchase vehicles for its members.

“They are taking away all that the poor are trying to benefit from, and they are giving it to the rich. In the battle that will ensue, I think they need to buy more bulletproof vehicles for the rich to move around because when people cannot get food to eat, they will run to the street.”

Ajaero also noted that the problem is not a Labour (NLC) problem anymore, but it is everywhere in the country.

Meanwhile, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said the pump price of petrol was increased from N500 to over N617 in order to remain in business.

Okoronkwo, said petrol marketers need to sell their old stocks at the new price to remain in business.

He expressed worry, saying many IPMAN members have gone out of business due to the removal of subsidy on petrol as they were unable to raise money to load from depots and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

Okoronkwo said with the price adjustment by the NNPCL, independent marketers raised their prices at retail outlets to match the reality of the times.

He said, “You need to be in business. If you go back, you will go and buy at a new price. Assuming you are selling N520, then there is a sudden change from where you are getting it, you have to still be in business.

“Some of my members have gotten to the level of putting products in their tankers, all of a sudden, there was an information that the price has changed. They didn’t load them again. Some are even battling now to see how they can load on that old price and now the new price.”

Okoronkwo said the timing of the price increment was not the issue but the government must work on how to mitigate the effect of the price adjustment and ease the pressure on the dollar.