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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has reacted to the planned increase of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol following rise in the price of crude oil to $60 per barrel.
In a statement titled ‘Why are you always quick to tell us about rise in crude price?’ the TUC blamed government officials for their “care-free attitude and indifference to the plight of Nigerians.
The statement, which was signed by Comrade Quadri Olaleye, President of TUC, said: “The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has expressed shock over the recent statement credited to the Ministry of Petroleum on the recent rise in the price of crude in the international market.
The statement partly reads:
“The question is why is government always quick to tell us about the rise in the price of crude in the international market and the need to increase the price of PMS but it takes them weeks and sometimes months to implement agreement reached with the Organised Labour? It all points to one thing: they have no mercy for the poor people of this country.
“In every move and statement by government officials you could see and feel their care-free attitude and indifference to our plight.
“It appears they are not disturbed by the poverty -ridden plight of Nigerians and the unemployment/insecurity situation that their obnoxious policies have created in the country. There is nothing honorable about what the Minister has said.
“Nigeria is among the six oil producing countries in the world. Reports have it that our oil is one of the best, giving us an edge over others.
“Unfortunately we have not taken advantage of that. We have four refineries that are not functional. Why are they not functional and why is government closing its eyes to it?
“Their refusal to attend to them is reason why the country is subjected to the vagaries and volatility of the price of crude in the international market.
“Nigeria is now depending on Dangote and Niger Republic refineries to supply us fuel! Dangote is an individual while Niger Republic is far less than Lagos in population. The pain the masses of the country bear is a needless one. It is artificially created.
“The TUC, nay organised labour is trying seriously to avert a major industrial crisis. We have tightened our belt so hard to the extent that we are finding it difficult to breathe but the government seems not to care. Government’s knee is on our neck and we are appealing to them to have a change of heart.”