The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned plans by the federal government to set up a “committee of eminent persons” to advise it on how to use savings from the planned removal of fuel subsidy, describing it “as another gimmick from government to force the policy down the throats of Nigerians”.
Reacting to the statement made by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, in Perth, Australia, the Head of Information and Public Relations of the NLC, Chris Uyot, said in Abuja Tuesday that irrespective of what government planned, the position of the labour movement had not changed.
Uyot queried: “What kind of committee is that? adding that “The Congress has said it is against deregulation and that Nigerian masses are not willing to pay a Kobo more on petroleum. That has always been the message. The National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC took a position on the issue and that has not changed. This new strategy is a fraudulent means to rail-road Nigerians into acceptiing deregulation.”
He added that while the NLC was open to dialogue, it was not willing to change its position just yet on the issue.
He warned: “We are of course open to dialogue. But such dialogue must not be made to force deregulation on all of us. We have said it many times that we will resist deregulation policy any time it is introduced because there is no justification for such policy now. We do not have the infrastructure to absorb the economic dislocations that will arise from the policy. It is better for government to think about how to improve the economic condition of the people instead of increasing their pains.”