- The NLC President has said the names and companies that have collected subsidies should be disclosed.
- He said the NNPCL, a private limited company cannot dictate fuel pump prices.
- According to the NLC President, market forces as the reason for fuel pump price increase is invalid because there is only one participant in the sector, meanwhile, competition is what drives market forces.
The NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, has called for the disclosure of the names of individuals and companies that have received subsidies.
He argued that the NNPCL, a private limited company, should not have the authority to dictate fuel pump prices.
According to the NLC President, the justification of market forces causing the increase in fuel pump prices is invalid because there is only one participant in the sector, and competition is what truly drives market forces.
During an interview with Arise Television on Sunday evening, Comrade Joe Ajaero emphasized the need for further details regarding the payment of fuel subsidies. He expressed the necessity of understanding the fuel subsidy situation in Nigeria and urged for transparency, stating:
- “We need to know who these subsidies were paid to and what the funds were used for. Can we have the names of the people and companies that collected these subsidies? We have agreed on some alternatives before now, why are those alternatives not working?”
Regarding the meeting between the government and the NLC on Sunday, June 4, the NLC President expressed disappointment, stating that no progress was made because the government did not seem interested in the NLC’s position regarding the fuel pump price increase resulting from the removal of fuel subsidies by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Comrade Joe Ajaero explained:
- “Of what use is the meeting? By Tuesday night, I held a meeting with the Trade Union Congress president, Mr. President, and his team, there and then, the NNPC said they were going to bring out figures and prices and on the spot, I told them if you do that, we will fight back. There is no basis for you to take that decision before discussion and they went ahead to do it.”
Why fuel prices should be subject to market forces
He further expressed frustration that despite their request to return to the status quo to facilitate open discussion, the government has not complied. He questioned the claim that there is no appropriation beyond May, stating that he believes there is an appropriation up to the end of June.
He argued against the notion that fuel prices should be subject to market forces, particularly when dictated by the NNPCL, a private limited company, which the labor movement finds unacceptable. Comrade Ajaero also highlighted the absence of market forces if the Dangote Refinery remains the only producer of petroleum products in the country.
He also questioned why the Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna refineries were not active. He emphasized the importance of having multiple players in the sector to truly experience market forces in the downstream sector.
He also questioned the rationale of market forces determining fuel prices when there is only one participant, warning that if Dangote continues as the sole participant, fuel prices could reach as high as N1000 per liter by December.
In conclusion, the NLC President, Comrade Joe Ajaero, assured that there is no division in the decision to proceed with strike action on Wednesday, June 7. He emphasized the unity of the NLC, with no eastern, western, or southern branches, and confirmed that the strike action would commence as planned.