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NLC queries Obasanjo over fuel price increase

Posted by Oluyinka Akintunde, Abuja on 2005/08/12 | Views: 295 |

NLC queries Obasanjo over fuel price increase

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Thursday cautioned the Federal Government against attempting to raise the prices of petroleum products in the country.

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Thursday cautioned the Federal Government against attempting to raise the prices of petroleum products in the country.

The Congress stated that another hike in petroleum products' prices would dislocate and disrupt the recent relief secured by the government from the Paris Club.

The caution is contained in a letter signed by the President of the NLC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, to President Olusegun Obasanjo.

In the letter made available to newsmen in Abuja, the NLC President stated that there was absolutely no basis for any increase in the prices of petroleum products in view of the socio-political situation in the country.

"NLC and a majority of Nigerians are gravely worried in the light of recent media reports quoting the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Funsho Kupolokun, and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Mr. Wole Oluleye, as indicating that the Federal Government was contemplating jacking up fuel prices.

"According to them, Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as Petrol would now sell for N61 per litre in Lagos and certainly higher in the North and Eastern parts of the country. There is absolutely no case for any increase now if we were to review the economic indicators and socio-political situation in the country," Oshiomhole said.

He affirmed that high inflation profile of the economy was as a result of previous price increases.

He added that fuel price increases would not allow the government to realise the macro-economic objective of keeping inflation at single digit.

The NLC president urged Obasanjo to constructively revisit the report of the Senator Ibrahim Mantu-led Palliative Committee to reap the gain of domestic price stability.

He said, "The Committee has generated a viable and consensus-driven prescription for insulating local prices of fuel products from the volatilities of the international prices and the local exchange rate.

"The work of the Mantu Committee was based on the clear mandate given by Your Excellency to produce an enduring solution to the crisis of interminable price adjustments and the way it heats up the polity."

The NLC president blamed the perennial increases in petroleum products on the vested interests in the oil industry, who he said benefitted from such increases.

The letter added, “The NLC is strongly urging you to act with caution, compassion and consideration for overall stability and peace of the polity and in the interest of public welfare and the economy.

"The time to act on the side of Nigerians and Nigeria, including industries and businesses, over the issue of fuel pricing is now. And the blueprint is the Mantu's report, which is not only realistic but also consensual."

Last week, Kupolokun argued that the current pump prices of petrol in Nigeria were not ‘cost reflective.’

He advocated increases in the prices in line with rising crude oil prices in the international market.

“We do not recover prices at the pumps and as today, our resource gap is in the neighbourhood of $1billion,” he had said.

Petrol sold for N20 per litre in 1999 when President Obasanjo came into office. But the crude oil price was also less than $20 per barrel then, as against the current price of over $65.

THE PUNCH, Friday, August 12, 2005

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Comments (7)

Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

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A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...


Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

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