The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Saturday, said that the congress has not shift ground on its stance that federal government must stop 100 per cent importation of petroleum products.
In a statement issued in Abuja, NLC national president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said that the labour movement has for decades been vehemently consistent that the only way to address the issue of the so-called petrol subsidy is to get Nigeria’s refineries to work.
Recall that the Minister of State for Labour and Employment and the interim spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign, Festus Keyamo, had challenged NLC over its seeming support for the position of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, on issues related to removal of petrol subsidies.
But, in response, Comrade Wabba insisted that if any political party plan to sell Nigeria’s refineries, remove subsidies, and oppress “long-suffering Nigerians”, they should be ready to defend such stance to Nigerians at the campaigns.
He maintained that the NLC, organised labour, and Labour Party position on the issue has not changed but only got amplified.
Comrade Wabba said, “In furtherance of the avowed position of the Nigeria Labour Congress on issues-based campaign in the run up to the 2023 general election, we wish to state that Nigerian workers through a number of painstaking processes have been able to articulate a Nigerian Workers’ Charter of Demands which the NLC and TUC are using to engage the political process.
“A major demand in the Nigerian Workers Charter of Demands is that our local public refineries must work, we have also demanded that we must stop 100% importation of refined petroleum products, the NLC and indeed the labour movement in Nigeria has over many decades been vehemently consistent that the only way to address the issue of the so-called petrol subsidies is to get our refineries to work. The logic is very simple: it is atrocious to buy from abroad at very expensive prices a product that a country like ours can easily produce at home.
“At the heart of our demand on the management of Nigeria’s mineral resources especially our downstream petroleum sub sector is the issue of production economy, we believe that the rescue of Nigeria from the current ruinous path of consumption economy to production economy is the only way to resolve Nigeria’s economic nightmares of massive depletion of scarce foreign exchange reserve; continuous devaluation of the Naira; significant jobs haemorrhage and destruction, deepening of poverty and downturn in the living standards of our people,” he added.