The National Executive Council of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has said that the current situation in which the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is the sole provider of fuel to the nation and absorbing subsidies is not healthy for the country.
The TUC took this stand at the end of its NEC meeting in Lagos and advised the government to reimburse the NNPC to enable it to perform its primary obligation to the country.
It called on the Federal Government to begin the immediate payment of all outstanding subsidy claims owed petroleum marketers under the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency-administered Petroleum Support Fund in order to avoid consequential job losses, which the nation could least afford.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting read in part: “These delays are also stopping the payment of wages/salaries in the downstream sector in a scary dimension, which must not be allowed to degenerate.
“It is expected that the government would engage the marketers as social partners under a special intervention arrangement that enables product marketers to purchase foreign exchange at concessionary rates from the Central Bank of Nigeria. This will keep the prices at their current level as well as encourage more participants.
“Government is called upon to revamp the public owned refineries as well.”
The trade union commended the Federal Government for setting up the minimum wage committee and implored the panel to speed up proceedings to ensure that a new minimum wage would take effect not later than the agreed third quarter of the year.
On pension and gratuity of public servants, it said, “The NEC-in-session observed that the fight against corruption will not achieve the desired result without addressing the injustices being perpetrated by political office holders, who collect multiple pensions and gratuities while still serving government in other capacities. This is not good for the economy.”
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