Fuel Subsidy: Group accuses NLC of betrayal in ongoing fuel subsidy negotiation

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A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Sunday accused the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC of betrayal in the ongoing fuel subsidy negotiation without carrying them along, saying that any agreement reached with the Federal Government of Nigeria would be unacceptable.

The CSOs which comprise of 65 different organisations stated that the negotiation which is in the absence of Civil Society Organisations can only end up servicing the interest of the Nigeria Labour Congress with about 35.6 million workers, leaving about 175.4 million citizens who may not have been captured.

This fact is established by the proposed salary increment for workers without factoring palliatives for the citizens who are predominantly in the informal sector, and given that it is the CSOs that knows the depth of hash condition Nigerians are going through, the Coalition is calling on the Federal Government to stop further negotiation on fuel subsidy removal, until the CSOs are co-opted into it.

The statement which was signed by Dr Basil Yelwa Musa, Convener, Malam Haruna Maigida, Co-Convener, Com. Ayo Temi Adebayo and two others on behalf of 60 CSOs called on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume and other key government officials involved in the negotiation on fuel subsidy removal to call on the CSOs and other stakeholders for an all-encompassing discussion for a lasting solution.

The CSOs, “Oil and Gas Transparency and Advocacy Group, Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), Centre for Citizens Rights, Centre for Good Governance Advocacy and Action against Corruption in Nigeria, in the statement described as backstabbing the turn of events when the NLC’s current leaders chose to hold meetings with the representatives of the Federal Government to discuss the post fuel subsidy removal alone when in times past, CSOs were drafted into the struggle to protest when there were breaches of agreements with the FG.

In the history of Nigeria, this is the first time, the fuel subsidy was removed with dare consequences as petroleum pump price surged to over 350% with its attendant hike in food stuff and other commodities. This, the CSOs viewed as unsustainable as Nigerians can no longer live their average life due to difficulties”.

The Coalition also called on the Federal Government to probe all fuel subsidy payments for the past years and ensure that all illegal payments are recovered for servicing of the country.

“This becomes necessary as the latest figure showed a drastic reduction in the consumption of litres of fuel per day, after fuel subsidy was scrapped by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 29, 2023”.

The Coalition insisted that it remains a mystery for litres of petrol consumption to have dropped from 66 million per day to 40 million, stating that investigation into activities of fuel subsidies will reveal the threshold of scam that has been existing in the oil and gas industry for several years which Nigerians are interested to see further reasons the subsidy should be removed.