The fuel price increase from between N158 and N162 per litre to N168 and N170, has formally been rejected by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, in a statement on Monday said the hike was “against the spirit and content” of what organised labour agreed with the government at the last negotiations.
Wabba made it clear that Nigerians cannot suffer for government’s failure to manage the refineries.
He asked the government to declare a state of emergency in the downstream petroleum sector and as a follow up to this, enter into contract refining with refineries closer home.
This, the NLC pointed out, would ensure that the cost of supplying crude oil is negotiated away from the prevailing international market rate and thus lead to reduced landing cost.
The congress underlined the need for the government to stamp out the smuggling of petroleum products out of the country and prosecute smugglers.
According to Wabba, “in line with our recent agreement with the government, we will be receiving updates in the next few days from our unions in the petroleum sector which have been given the mandate to keep surveillance on government promises to overhaul our public refineries.
“We will also receive updates from our representatives in the electricity review committee. The updates we receive will determine whether the government has kept to its side of the bargain which is to take serious steps to recover and reposition our public refineries.
“The outcome of this engagement will determine our response in the coming days. But while we are at that, we condemn the recent price increase and we call for its reversal with immediate effect.”