In Defence of the Nigerian People on Fuel Price Increases!
Joint Communiqué of the Emergency Meeting of the National Executive Councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) Held on Wednesday 4th January, 2012.
The National Executive Councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) took place today, Wednesday 4th January, 2012.
The NLC and TUC noted that:
The Presidency announced the removal of petroleum subsidy and adjusted upward, the pump price of petrol on 1st January, 2012 even when it claimed it was consulting Nigerians.
Due to this upward review of prices, the pump price for petrol is now selling for between N141 and N200 per litre nation-wide rather than N65. This prohibitive increase in price of PMS once again confirms the position of Labour that deregulation to this government means incessant price increase of a strategic product (petrol) that impact on cost of living, cost of production and the general well-being of increasingly impoverish Nigerians.
The immediate generalized negative impact of this price increase on transport cost, food, drugs, schools fees, rents, indicate that government is totally wrong to underestimate the impact assessment of the so-called deregulation policy.
Due to the untoward hardship workers and other Nigerians are experiencing based on excessive increase in petrol prices, there have been sporadic protests by Nigerians in at least 10 cities;
These protests, which are peaceful have witnessed the use of unprecedented force by the Police leading to harassment, intimidation, arrests and the murder of a protester.
There is a subsisting understanding between Congress and the Federal government in 2009 that removal of subsidy will not commence until certain conditions have been met. These include the fixing of all the refineries and building new ones, regular power supply, and provision of other social infrastructure such as railways and repairs of roads as well as eliminating the corruption associated with supply and distribution of petroleum products in the downstream sector of the oil industry;
After exhaustive deliberations and consultations with all sections of the populace, the NLC, TUC and their pro-people allies demand that the Presidency immediately reverses fuel prices to N65. If the Government fails to do so, they direct that indefinite general strikes, mass rallies and street protests be held across the country with effect from Monday 9th January, 2012.
From that Monday, 9th January 2012 date, all offices, oil production centres, air and sea ports, fuel stations, markets, banks, amongst others will be shut down.
We advise Nigerians to stockpile basic needs especially food and water.
We call on all Nigerians to participate actively in this movement to rescue our country. The emphasis is on peaceful protests, rallies and strikes while refusing to be intimidated. Labour calls on the police, armed forces and other security agencies to reject orders that they turn their weapons on fellow Nigerians. We warn that anybody who does so, will be individually brought to justice.
The primary objective of this patriotic call and movement is to revert PMS price to N65, restore normalcy and reclaim Nigeria for Nigerians.
Abdulwahed I. Omar Peter Esele
President, NLC President, TUC