According to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to eliminate fuel subsidies would have set the country on fire.
“Because the path they wanted to take, which would have been detrimental to ordinary Nigerians, would have set the country on fire.” There would have been an immediate reaction. Of course, we would have been happy to coordinate those reactions,” said Benson Upah, a spokesman for the NLC, in response to the regime’s recent stoppage of subsidy removal on Thursday in Abuja.
“Our advice would be that they should take a lesson from the document we gave them on so-called fuel subsidy removal,” the NLC spokesman continued. “The answer cannot be too far away from domestic production.”
The National Economic Council (NEC) intended to discontinue the fuel subsidy.
Mr. Upah urged the Nigerian government to repair existing refineries or construct new ones rather than importing refined petroleum products.
“Though it’s late, the federal government’s decision to suspend the move to remove fuel subsidy has alluded to the fact that such harsh economic policy ought to have been a product of social dialogue, which was not done,” said Nuhu Toro, secretary general of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
Mr Toro said it was good that the government had to reconsider its decision to eliminate fuel subsidies and suggested that existing refineries be renovated to produce petroleum products in the country.
“First, it would create jobs, make petroleum products available for consumption, and most likely lower product prices.” It will also ensure foreign direct investment and make Nigeria a better place,” explained the TUC secretary general.
He did, however, express dissatisfaction with the country’s refineries.
“We are perplexed that our refineries are not operating, and we have repeatedly inquired as to why the refineries are not operating.” “There is a strong need for the incoming government to make a concerted effort to ensure that our refineries operate,” Mr Toro added.
“All of the money they claim goes to the deregulation process can actually be used to make our refineries functional,” he continued.
Mr Toro emphasized that the decision to revise the planned withdrawal of gasoline subsidies vindicated Nigerians and urged the next government to utilize social discourse on populist concerns.
“Policies should not be drafted overnight and thrust down people’s throats.” “Nigeria belongs to all of us,” said the TUC secretary general. “We are all critical stakeholders who must be involved in decision-making and implementation in order for our country to progress.”
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