BY QUADRI SALIU
The communiqué signed by the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Acting General Secretary, Ayuba Wabba and Ishmail Bello respectively has threatened to shut down the Nigerian economy if a kobo is added to the present price.
NLC leadership said the proposal by the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, for a 300 per cent increase in the price of petrol as the height of provocation, arbitrariness, detachment and insensitivity to the current economic realities in the country.
NLC said: “NEC also noted that there is currently no negotiation with government over fuel price increase. The NEC recalled that the last meeting with Government in February 2021 was adjourned sine die. Since then, no other meeting has been called by government. The NEC recalled and reiterated the decision it took on February 17, 2021, after the last meeting between labour and the Federal Government team on fuel price increase.
“The NEC reiterated that it still stands solidly by its decision taken at its meeting which took place on 17th February 2021 to reject further increases in the price of refined petroleum products particularly the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); The NEC also re-echoed its decision that the only sustainable way out of the crisis of fuel importation and associated dislocations in the downstream petroleum sub sector is for government to rehabilitate all four public refineries in Nigeria and build new ones;
“The NEC resolved that any decision to increase by even one cent the price of refined petroleum products especially PMS will attract an immediate withdrawal of services by Nigerian workers all over the country without any further notice; and NEC resolved to write officially to the Federal Government of Nigeria conveying the plight of Nigerian workers, the concerns of Congress and the resolutions of the NEC on the matter of fresh proposals for an increase in the pump price of fuel especially as informed by the stance of the Nigeria Governors Forum.”
On the ongoing review of 1999 constitution, NLC has called on the National Assembly to retain Labour administration, National Minimum Wage, Pension and Industrial Relations in the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution. According to the communiqué
“The NEC reviewed the preparation of Congress for appearance and presentation of workers’ demands at the Zonal Public Hearings on the Review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The NEC re-echoed the resolve of Nigerian workers to steadfastly defend the retention of the core Labour issues of Labour administration, the National Minimum Wage, Pension and Industrial Relations in the Exclusive Legislative List of the Nigerian Constitution.
“The NEC also deliberated on how to robustly promote autonomy for local government, autonomy for the judiciary and autonomy for the state legislatures during its engagement at the Zonal hearings.” The NEC also stated that issues including those canvassed in the foregoing and others that promote good governance and inclusive national development and as already captured in a published Memorandum to be submitted by representatives of Congress at the Zonal Public Hearings would be strongly advocated for at the Zonal Public Hearings.”
It directed the full mobilization of workers at all the Zonal Public Hearings to lend weight to the demands and aspirations of Nigerian workers in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution