NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday, asked the Federal Government and its agency, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to stop punishing Nigerians with fuel scarcity, warning that any attempt to increase the pump price of fuel would be resisted by organised labour.
NLC, in a statement by its President, Abdulwaheed Omar, refused to hold the marketers responsible and called on government to take full responsibility for the scarcity and take decisive steps to restore normalcy urgently.
According to the statement, â€œsince the last few weeks, when scarcity of petroleum products at sale stations became noticeable, workers and the Nigerian people have experienced excruciating hardship and trauma with incoherent excuses from marketers and ostensible helplessness from the Federal Government and relevant agencies responsible to rectify the deplorable situation.
The scarcity of the product and long hours at fuel stations in queues have clearly slowed down productivity and its attendant effect on service delivery and production within the economy.
â€œWhile importers claim the unnecessary delay in obtaining import approvals from the Federal Government, which enable them import the products early enough to meet up with public demands, is the cause of the scarcity, NNPC insists the products are available.
â€œBut the marketers are hoarding products to deliberately increase prices. The recent announcement by NNPC that it has supplied 50 million litres of fuel to marketers and intensified its monitoring exercise to check hoarding of the product has not ameliorated the situation, but heightened the sufferings of Nigerians as prices have continued to skyrocket with a litre of fuel selling between N500 and N800 in the parallel market.â€
NLC lamented that despite the assurances by NNPC, â€œthe tirade and buck passing between the corporation and marketers indicate an attempt to deliberately inflict hardship on Nigerians so as to accept increase in fuel prices.
â€œWe hope this is not the case, as labour will resist any attempt to further impoverish Nigerians.â€