Representatives of the Federal Government are scheduled to meet with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) today at 2 pm to discuss the planned removal of fuel subsidy.
NLC National President, Joe Ajaero, announced this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program on Wednesday.
Ajaero emphasized that the position of the labor union is clear: while President Bola Tinubu may have good intentions, alternatives must be provided. He criticized the President for not seeking input and considering the implications of fuel subsidy removal on the Nigerian people.
The NLC leader outlined potential alternatives, including repairing the nation’s refineries and providing transportation alternatives for Nigerian workers. He called for a review of the President’s pronouncement, emphasizing the need to reduce the suffering of the people.
In contrast, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) stated that the deregulation of the oil sector and subsidy removal are necessary steps to make Nigeria great. IPMAN’s National Public Relations Officer, Yakubu Suleiman, expressed this view during an interview on Sunrise Daily. Suleiman highlighted the importance of removing the subsidy and redirecting funds towards infrastructure and economic development.
President Tinubu, in his inaugural speech on Monday, declared an end to fuel subsidy payments, stating that the 2023 Budget does not allocate funds for it anymore. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has supported Tinubu’s decision.
However, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) argued that the President cannot unilaterally decide on subsidy removal. They noted that the previous administration of Muhammadu Buhari intentionally left the “sensitive issue” for the new government to handle.
Since the President’s pronouncement, fuel queues have reappeared across the country, and Nigerians are facing challenges in accessing fuel, with prices ranging from N500 per liter and above.