The outgoing president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic policies resulting in petrol and naira scarcity have “pushed Nigerians to the wall.”
Rather than seek a reduction in petrol prices, he said labour would seek a policy change.
“It is sad that people queue endlessly at the banks to access money and at filling stations to buy fuel. Nigerians have been pushed to the wall concerning getting their money in the bank and buying fuel at filling stations,” Mr Wabba stated on Tuesday in Abuja at the congress’ 13th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference.
He added, “If the issue is not addressed within the shortest possible time, nobody can predict what can happen.”
According to him, organised labour is seeking to end the nation’s fuel importation policy as it will reduce petrol pump prices.
“The policy of importation was imposed on Nigerians in 2003 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and that is why the price model of products is based on importation,” Mr Wabba explained.
The NLC president pointed out that the federal government could remove the subsidy on petroleum products when it starts refining locally.
“Refining locally will eradicate subsidy and corruption in the entire industry. When we refine petroleum in Nigeria, it will create job opportunities for the people,” Mr Wabba stated. “We can organise youths in clusters and give them jobs, and by so doing, 50 per cent of the problem is solved.”
The labour leader also urged the government to prioritise tax for the country to be self-reliant.
“Correct tax payment will enable the country to remain a solid state because we have opened our borders, and we have all manners of textile materials coming in,” noted Mr Wabba. “In fact, this is the reason why the textile industry is going down.”
The NLC president, however, pointed out that irregular power supply was a major factor affecting textile companies as the few existing ones could no longer pay the exorbitant rates.