‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
DAILY COURIER – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC ), on Wednesday, rejected the new pricing template released by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).
DAILY COURIER earlier reported that the NNPC, on Wednesday, directed its marketers to adjust retail prices for premium motor spirit to a range between N488 to N555 per litre.
The development followed the Federal Government’s decision to remove fuel subsidy.
But the NLC in a statement by its national president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, described the new price template as vexatious and an ambush to the ongoing meeting of stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to manage the unilateral removal of subsidy on petroleum products by President Bola Tinubu.
The organised labour also expressed worry over the development and called for immediate withdrawal of the pricing template to allow free flow of discussions by all parties.
According to Ajaero, the release of the template was an effort by the government through the NNPCL to scuttle the process of dialogue.
Ajaero maintained that government cannot in one breath be talking about deregulation and at the same time fixing the prices of petroleum products.
He said, “We are worried that the Government through the NNPC despite the ongoing meeting of Stakeholders in the oil and Gas sector to manage the unilateral but unfortunate announcement by the President to withdraw subsidy on petroleum products, went ahead this morning to announce a new regime of prices under a new pricing template.
“This is an ambush and runs against the spirit and principles of Social Dialogue which remains the best platform available for the resolution of all the issues arising out of the petroleum down-stream sector… this negates the spirit of allowing the operation of the free market unless the government has as usual usurped, captured or become market forces.
“It is, therefore. unacceptable and we seriously condemn it. Good faith negotiation is key to reaching agreement. What the government has done is like holding a gun to the head of Nigerian people and bring undue pressure on the leaders thus undermine the dialogue.
“Nigerians would not accept any manipulations of any kind from any of the parties especially from the representatives of the government, our commitment to this process is buoyed on the fact that all the parties would be committed to ensuring that it is carried out within the ambits of liberty without undue pressure.”