Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close






Fuel price to hit N97 as labour/govt meeting ends in deadlock

Posted by By FRANCIS AWOWOLE- BROWNE, Abuja on 2007/06/09 | Views: 591 |

Fuel price to hit N97 as labour/govt meeting ends in deadlock


A meeting of Labour leaders and government representatives led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe ended in deadlock in Abuja last night as government jolted labour when it insisted that the actual destination of the petrol price is N97 per litre.

A meeting of Labour leaders and government representatives led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe ended in deadlock in Abuja last night as government jolted labour when it insisted that the actual destination of the petrol price is N97 per litre.

In quick response. Labour led by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and that of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) maintained that government could not try it insisting that the current N75 per litre must be reversed or else there would be trouble.The government had been issued a two-week ultimatum to reverse the hike or face strike from June 8.

Labour leaders watched as the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the meeting held behind close doors at the SGF conference room showed slides indicating the quantity of crude produced, quantity of finished products imported yearly and the fact that government spends to the tune of N200 billion annually to subsidize the products for the citizens even at N75.

It was, however, a hot argument as Labour said despite the arbitary increment showed government’s utter disregard for the people, insisting that the new pump price was unacceptable and should be reversed.
Though Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) has asked government to also reversed the increase in the rate of the Value Added Tax (VAT) as well as resume the payment of the 15 per cent salary increase which payment was equally arbitrarily stopped, the issue of fuel price dominated the discuss, which was later stalemated.

The meeting attended by the Chairperson of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Irene Chigbue, Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), and a host of others on government side could however, not agree on the demands of labour that before anything else, the hikes must be reversed.

Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, the NLC President and his TUC counterpart, Peter Esele faulted the hike in fuel price, arguing that even the PPPRA that should have effected the increase did not meet because both PENGASSAN and NUPENG which were members of the agency did not attend any meeting where it was decided to effect a hike in the fuel price.

Also, the labour leaders argued further that the hike in VAT which had led to spiral inflation, was supposed to be legally backed and not by presidential fiat as had been done. They noted that the request for the hike by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, tabled before the National Assembly was rejected “and therefore the hikes are baseless.”

TUC President, Esele told Daily Sun that government positions were unacceptable to Labour and therefore nothing had changed, “the ultimatum remains”
He reasoned that the two increases in fuel price and VAT appeared to have been taken jointly by Obasanjo and President Yar’Adua, because the government position did not show that they were not in the know.
Just last Wednesday, Labour had asked Nigerians to prepare for a long strike as it was determined to ensure the arbitrary increases did not stay.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :



Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (1)

Gravatar
New
Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.