NUPENG warns Senate, vows to resist hike in petrol price

Fuel queues used to be regular fixtures in Nigeria
Fuel queues used to be regular fixtures in Nigeria

Fuel Queue

The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, on Saturday said it will resist any attempt to increase the price of petrol.

Tokunbo Korodo, South-West Chairman of NUPENG, said this in Lagos while reacting to the proposed N5 petrol levy by the Senate.

Mr. Korodo, who described the proposal as a huge joke, noted that it was also ill- timed.

He wondered how the nation’s Upper Chamber could think of another fuel price increase when Nigerians were “striving to cope with the current harsh economic realities”.

“How can the Senate propose such a bill at this particular period when poor Nigerians can hardly feed themselves?
“The prices of foodstuffs have tripled in the market, while workers’ salary has not been increased,” Mr. Korodo said.

Earlier in the week, Kabiru Gaya (APC- Kano ), Chairman Senate Committee on Works, had on June 1 presented a bill entitled “National Roads Bill” to the House.

The bill recommends that importers should pay N5 levy on every litre of imported petroleum products and that the levy will form part of the proposed national roads fund.

It also recommends the deduction of 0.5 per cent on fares, paid by passengers travelling on interstate roads to commercial mass transit operators, as well as the return of toll gates on federal roads, among others.

But in his reaction, Mr. Korodo lambasted the government over the plan, adding that it also smacked of insensitivity to the current economic hardships facing Nigerians.

The NUPENG boss, however, called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the leadership of the Senate to shelve the bill, stating that any attempt to push it through will be roundly rejected.

“Just a year ago, the pump price of petrol was increased from N87 to N145 per litre and Nigerians accepted the increment because of the sincerity of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration,” he said.

“Any attempt to adjust the price of petrol under any guise will be resisted by the Organised Labour.”