Skip to content
View Featured Image

Nigeria Labour Congress Issues Ultimatum Over Fuel Subsidy Repeal

Nigeria – Last week, in his inauguration speech, the new Nigerian President Bola Tinubu announced that the widely-supported fuel subsidy would be removed. The Nigeria Labour Congress responded immediately, writing:

We at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are outraged by the pronouncement of President Bola Tinubu removing the “fuel subsidy’ without due consultations with critical stake holders or without putting in place palliative measures to cushion the harsh effects of the ‘subsidy removal’.

The President’s announcement sparked a rush on fuel purchases resulting in long lines at fuel stations. Al Jazeera reports that the removal of the subsidy will double or triple the price of gasoline in the nation where 133 million people live in poverty.

On Friday, June 2, after an emergency meeting, the Nigeria Labour Congress announced that they would give the President one week to reverse his decision or else they will launch an indefinite strike beginning on June 7. Read their full statement below:

On Monday, the 29th day of May, 2023 the President of the Federal Republic announced during his inaugural speech the withdrawal of Subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria. Consequently, the price of the product which is central to transportation and power in Nigeria escalated across the nation throwing the nation into turmoil and confusion as citizens were left stranded thus increasing suffering and angst among the populace.

To this end the National Executive Council (NEC) was called to deliberate on the issues arising from that unfortunate decision by the federal Government.

The NEC-in-session considered the huge suffering pervading the nation, the outrage expressed by the majority and the increased attendant fears of the consequences of the PMS price hike unanimously condemned the actions of the federal government and reached the following conclusions:

  1. That it was unlawful for the federal government to have announced the withdrawal of the Subsidy on PMS

  2. That the 2023 Appropriation Act made provisions for the funding of the subsidy regime on PMS till the end of June, 2023

  3. That it is unfair for the government to knowingly take action that will inflict pains on the populace and workers without putting adequate safeguards in place

  4. That discussions were already on and understanding reached with government on the conditions precedent before the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS

  5. That the Local refineries especially the Publicly owned four have remained comatose as a result of government’s inability to get them operationally turned around.

  6. That we cannot accept any Petroleum Product Price increase until products are refined locally

  7. That federal government’s decision was unilateral and therefore runs counter to the spirit of national consensus and Social Dialogue.NEC-in-Session also noted that whereas:

  8. there is a subsisting judgment of the Court that voided the powers of the Nigerian state to deregulate and fix prices of petroleum products in the Country.

  9. Between 1993 and 2023 about U$6b was used for Turn Around Maintenance of the Refineries without any results

  10. U$7b was given to 14 banks owned by the elite from Public treasury to keep them afloat.

  11. Between 2016 and now, N26tr was given to the rich as import waivers

  12. the NNPC is still unable to tell us how it arrived at the Pricing templates and the names of the beneficiaries of the Subsidy funds. The NEC-in-session subsequently resolved as follows:

  13. to demand for the immediate withdrawal of the vexatious NNPCL price adjustments and revert to the old price in keeping with the 2023 Appropriation Act

  14. to immediately commence effective mobilization of all workers and citizens in conjunction with the Civil Society for a robust and inclusive engagement to resist the imposition of higher prices on PMS on Nigerians.

  15. to hereby affirm a Seven – Day ultimatum beginning from Wednesday the 31st day of May, 2023 to the federal Government to revert to the old price to allow Dialogue to proceed

  16. to on the expiration of the ultimatum without full compliance by the federal government embark on an indefinite nation – wide withdrawal of services and mass Protests starting 00:00 Hours Wednesday the 7th of June, 2023.

  17. to this end, all Affiliates and State Councils of the NLC are directed to immediately commence full mobilization of members to ensure the success of this action nation – wide.

Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.