January 26, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday said if the Federal Government must remove fuel subsidies in the country, it has to ensure that all refineries are functioning effectively, including the modular ones.
President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, made the remarks while addressing newsmen at the union’s secretariat in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
He disclosed that the planned strike action by the union has been suspended because the Federal Government has decided to postpone its February 1, 2022, removal of fuel subsidy.
Wabba, who was represented by Comrade Benjamin Anthony, President Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation (AUPCTRE), maintained that “Over the years especially since the return of democratic structures, $9.5 billion have been spent on the turnaround of our nation’s refineries when you look at it, you are turning around what is not working.
“It is not that the government doesn’t want to do it, but some people are benefitting from the non-functioning of the refineries.
“We will continue to resist that, if the subsidy is going to be removed, the Federal Government must put our four refineries into use, and even the modular refineries that they made a pronouncement that they were going to licence, we haven’t seen any yet.
“Government should see the hardship ordinary Nigerians are going through; everything is so difficult.
“It is worthy to note that, if the refineries are working, the cost of petrol will not be as high as we are experiencing now.
“If you take a look at member nations of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), it is only Nigeria that is importing petrol, all other member nations have their refineries; for instance, in Libya, there is a refinery that is up to hundred years old, and is still functioning till date.”