The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) on Saturday noted that its position on fuel subsidy removal has not changed.
The Congress was responding to Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo who asked the NLC to clarify its position on the controversial subsidy issue following the pledge by Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi to remove subsidy on petroleum products.
Responding in a statement by its President, Comrade Ayuba Waba, the NLC insisted that the Federal Government must make local refineries work before ending the subsidy regime.
The Congress also explained that the government must stop fuel importation by 100 per cent before it can go ahead to remove subsidies on petroleum products.
The statement said: “A major demand in the Nigerian Workers Charter of Demands is that our local public refineries must work. We have also demanded that we must stop 100% importation of refined petroleum products. The NLC and indeed the Labour movement in Nigeria has over many decades been vehemently consistent that the only way to address the issue of the so-called petrol subsidies is to get our refineries to work. The logic is very simple: it is atrocious to buy from abroad at very expensive prices a product that a country like ours can easily produce at home.
“At the heart of our demand on the management of Nigeria’s mineral resources especially our downstream petroleum sub sector is the issue of the Production Economy. We believe that the rescue of Nigeria from the current ruinous path of Consumption Economy to Production Economy is the only way to resolve Nigeria’s economic nightmares of massive depletion of scarce foreign exchange reserve; continuous devaluation of the Naira; significant jobs haemorrhage and destruction, deepening of poverty and downturn in the living standards of our people.
“In a determined effort to popularise the positions in the Nigerian Workers Charter of Demands, the NLC and TUC at the behest of the Labour Party on September 12-13, 2022 hosted a National Retreat of the leadership cadres in our movement. At the retreat, the Labour Party and Organized Labour in Nigeria adopted and mainstreamed the Workers Charter of Demands into the Manifesto of the Labour Party. This is in line with our persuasion that issue-based campaign anchored on the manifesto of political parties should drive Nigeria’s political process.
“If any political party goes around saying that they plan to sell our refineries, remove subsidies, and further oppress long-suffering Nigerians, they should be ready to defend such stance to Nigerians at the campaigns. The NLC, Organized Labour, and Labour Party position has not changed. It only got amplified!”