Nigeria Labour Congress has rejected the fuel price hike, saying that with COVID-19 pandemic businesses will not survive and poverty level will rise to an unexpected degree.
The hike in pump price was announced on Wednesday by the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, but the NLC on Thursday said the increase in the pump price from N121.50 to N143.80 was the height of insensitivity by the government.
A statement by the congress’ President, Ayuba Wabba, said the increase was unfortunate as it happened at the time businesses are struggling to cope with the effects of COVID-19.
He said, “PPPRA contradicted itself when it said that the latest price increase described as an advisory was meant to regulate a product that government claims had been de-regulated.
“That this new hike in the pump price of petrol was announced without the approval of the board of the PPPRA and the oversight ministry speaks volume of the arbitrariness and public contempt in the operations of PPPRA. We find this deeply disturbing.
“It is also very embarrassing that the PPPRA boss, while trying to defend the indefensible, appeared to be out of sorts and ready to clutch at any available straws to sell his ice block merchandise to Eskimos.
“Apart from contradicting himself that PPPRA is still trying to regulate a deregulated product through ‘advisories’, the PPPRA went on to exert more nails on the coffin of his polemics when arguing that PPPRA was just like the Central Bank of Nigeria and the National Insurance Commission that would always act to protect the public interest.
“That was how far the niceties went. The rest of the statement by the PPPRA boss was about how PPPRA plans to protect investors and increase their profit.”
The statement, however, called for immediate reversal to the old price.