Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Nigeria Labour Congress Press Statement on Current Scarcity of Petroleum Products

23rd November, 2011

For more than a week now, it has been noticed in several parts of Nigeria, including Abuja that long queues of vehicles have reappeared in fuel stations due to scarcity of petroleum products in the country.

While the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has issued a statement that the country has enough supply of petroleum products, the marketers have said the importation of the product has been stopped since two months running.

Since motorists are in difficulty accessing the products at pump stations, it is obvious that NNPC officials are either lying or up to some mischieve.

What seems to be the truth is that the government has stopped importation of petroleum products, and even what is available is being sold at exorbitant prices to marketers.  We hold the NNPC responsible for the current scarcity as it is the only source of supplies to marketers.

Despite massive opposition to government’s plan to increase the price of petroleum products through the unpopular withdrawal of subsidy, the Federal Government seems determined to carry out the increases.

It is obvious, as in previous cases that the current crisis is meant to impose the withdrawal of subsidy, which majority of Nigerians, including the National Assembly are vehemently opposed to.

We restate our opposition to the withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products because it will further impoverish Nigerians, cripple what is left of industries,
which will throw more people out of jobs and reduce the already overburdened purchasing power of majority of Nigerians.

We have repeatedly stated that this country has no business importing petroleum products if the government is committed and bold enough to clean up the system, rehabilitate existing refineries and build more. Our economy is heavily reliant on the industry and so does not deserve to be dependent on importation and   the mercy of greedy businessmen.

However, if the government goes ahead to effect increases in the pump price of these products is defiance of the popular wish of the people it may not be able to contain the mass protests that will follow.

We call on all Nigerian workers and civil society organisations sustain the ongoing mobilisation against the removal of subsidy on petroleum products.

Chris Uyot
Head of Information & Public Relations

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