NLC Reacts to Proposed Subsidy Removal, N5000 Cash Transfer

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected a proposal to provide N5,000 to 40 million poor Nigerians when the subsidy on Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) is abolished.

The National Labour Congress's (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba, said Friday night in Abuja that there are no ongoing discussions between labour and the federal government because the talks were put on hold many months ago.

President, Ayuba Wabba
Ayuba Wabba - NLC President

The NLC accused the government of using monologue to reach its decision on subsidy elimination, saying that it will continue to oppose any deregulation based on the importation of petroleum goods.

It further stated that continuing depreciation of the naira would not guarantee a realistic petrol pump pricing.

In a statement made available to The Standard Gazette, the labour leader said, “This situation will definitely be compounded by the astronomical devaluation of the naira, which currently goes for N560 to 1US$ in the parallel market. Thus, any attempt to compare the price of petrol in Nigeria to other countries would be set on a faulty premise as it would be akin to comparing apples to mangoes."

The idea that completely surrendering the price of petrol to market forces would normalize the demand and supply curve as it is being incorrectly imputed to existing market realities with cooking gas, diesel, and kerosene is quite obtuse, according to the congress.

It thus warned that the government's lure of paying N5,000 to 40 million Nigerians as a palliative to cushion the impact of the huge increase in the price of petrol is ludicrous. It encouraged the government to collect empirical data on the amount of refined petroleum products Nigerians consume on a daily basis.

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