by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
President, National Union of Textiles, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, Comrade John Adaji, has asserted that, the plight of Nigerians will worsen under the new pump price of petroleum, as it’ll support NLC in mobilising against the increase when necessary.
“As an affiliate of NLC, we hereby condemn the increase in the pump price of petrol, from N121 to the ranges of N140.80 and N143.80, as announced by the Nigeria’s Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA,” he said in a statement.
The NUTGTWN president, who made the observation in a statement issued in Kaduna on Friday, said “Following the announcement, most oil marketers in the country have adjusted their pump prices accordingly, with many of them selling at N145 per litre and above.
“The prohibitive increase in pump price of petrol coming at the time most Nigerians are passing through excruciating difficulties occasioned by COVID-19 is unacceptable and also does not portray the Nigeria’s government as a caring one.
“Comrade Adaji elaborated thus: “For a government that has commendably rolled out series of palliatives and stimulus packages to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the populace as well as strategic sectors of the nation’s economy, the effect of the increase in pump price of petrol will undermine the effort towards national recovery,” he added.
According to him, the increase in pump price of petrol would impact on transport cost and cost of living in general, saying, “Transport fares have already gone up, following reduction in number of passengers by transporters in compliance with social distancing regulation.
“Nigeria, therefore, stands the risk of witnessing higher increase in COVID-19 cases due to possible non-adherence to social distancing by transporters as a result of the increase in price of petrol and associated hike in the cost of transportation.
“Many Nigerians had commended the federal government for demonstrating sensitivity by the earlier reduction of pump price of petrol, following the fall in crude oil prices in the international market, which is in line with the governments’ best practice in other countries. Time is not yet ripe for any increase in pump price of petrol.
“While we commend the National Assembly for halting the increase in electricity tariff planned to commence July 1, we also hereby call on the federal government to demonstrate the same sensitivity by stopping the new increase in pump price of petrol. We also call on the federal government to urgently fix the refineries. With functioning local refineries, prices of petroleum products should be far lower.
“As a private sector union affiliated to NLC, we will not hesitate to mobilize our members for any possible action by the NLC to compel the federal government to revert to the old price of petrol,” the statement noted.