COMMUNIQUE AT THE END OF AN EMERGENCY NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) MEETING OF THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) HELD ON FRIDAY, THE 2ND DAY OF JUNE 2023
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:
- That it was unlawful for the federal government to have announced the withdrawal of the Subsidy on PMS
- That the 2023 Appropriation Act made provisions for the funding of the subsidy regime on PMS till the end of June, 2023
- 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
- That discussions were already on and understanding reached with government on the conditions precedent before the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS
- 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.
- That we cannot accept any Petroleum Product Price increase until products are refined locally
- 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:
- 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.
- Between 1993 and 2023 about U$6b was used for Turn Around Maintenance of the Refineries without any results
- U$7b was given to 14 banks owned by the elite from Public treasury to keep them afloat.
- Between 2016 and now, N26tr was given to the rich as import waivers
- 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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Comrade Joe Ajaero Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, mni
President General Secretary