The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has adviced the Federal Government not to consider removing the fuel subsidy in the absence of local refining capacity, citing the socioeconomic repercussions for companies and ordinary Nigerians.
This is contained in a communiqué issued by NUPENG leaders at the conclusion of the Union’s National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Lagos, which deliberated on the state of the nation, particularly following the conduct of the 2023 general elections and the increasing statements from Nigerians on the Federal Government’s intention to end the Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, subsidy regime, among other things.
“NEC-in-Council also examined the recurrent discussions for the removal of subsidy from the PMS, and expresses deep concerns over the failure of the Federal Government to do the needful as severally advised by organised labour that deregulation of the PMS should not be predicated on importation of the product because of all the obvious negative impacts on the product,” said President and General Secretary of NUPENG, Prince Williams Akporeha, and Afolabi Olawale.
“The Council-in-Session expressed disappointment over the government’s failure to deliver on its promises of bringing the three national refineries online before considering the removal of the subsidy on this very important economic item in light of the enormous implications and impact on economic activities, as well as the socio-economic importance of PMS to ordinary Nigerians.”
“The NEC-in-session reiterates that, while our inion is not opposed to the removal of PMS subsidies, the Federal Government must ensure that our local refineries are fully operational before making such a major policy decision in the interest of the majority of Nigerians.”
Concerning the recently concluded general elections, NUPENG vowed to resist any attempt to impose an interim or undemocratic government on Nigeria after May 29, as has been speculated, expressing concerns about the increasing and unending spread of hate, ethnic and religious bigotry by politicians, religious leaders, elites, and youths in the run-up to and after the conduct of the 2023 general elections, to the detriment of the peace, unity, and coexistence of the people of Nigeria.
“The NEC-in session affirms that the 2023 general elections marked another watershed in our nation’s democratic journey, wherein the political parties of 20 sitting governors lost to opposition parties, and quite unlike before, wherein seven sitting governors lost their bids to become Senators, after their tenure as governors of their respective states expired,” the union said.
“The council-in-session acknowledges that there are still some irregularities in the conduct of the election,” it says, “but believes that rather than fanning embers of division and disillusionment among Nigerians, patriotic Nigerians should rise in unison to galvanise the citizenry to mend broken relationships and heal whatever wounds may have been inflicted on one another, and collectively strive towards improving our electoral processes as we move forward.”