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Saturday, September 30, 2023

NUPENG cautions President Tinubu on rushing fuel subsidy removal

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The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has expressed its concerns and caution to President Tinubu regarding the hasty removal of fuel subsidy. In a statement signed by NUPENG’s President, William Akporeha, and General Secretary, Comrade Ajolabi Olawale, the union stressed the need for careful consideration before implementing such a significant socio-economic policy.

NUPENG acknowledged the ongoing national discourse and expectations surrounding the removal of subsidy from Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS). As a responsible and responsive trade union, NUPENG expressed its desire for policy change regarding the subsidy, but emphasized the importance of avoiding unintended consequences that may affect the people and the nation as a whole.

The union expressed satisfaction with the progress made in addressing the country’s dependence on fuel importation through the recently commissioned Dangote Refinery. However, NUPENG advised President Tinubu’s administration not to rush into any decision regarding the policy change until the products from the Dangote Refinery are actually available in the market.

Furthermore, NUPENG urged the incoming administration to focus on making all three public refineries (Warri, Port Harcourt, and Kaduna) fully functional. Instead of solely relying on the anticipated products from the Dangote Refinery, efforts should be directed towards maximizing the returns on the investments made in rehabilitating the public refineries.

NUPENG firmly believed that deregulation based on local production would not only increase the country’s revenue but also generate employment opportunities and improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians. The union stressed the need for robust engagement and discussions with all key stakeholders, especially organized labor, to mitigate any adverse effects on employment, inflation, and living conditions.

Given the significant economic importance of fuel, NUPENG emphasized the need for caution in making major policy decisions regarding the removal of subsidy. The union highlighted the potential implications and impacts on the nation’s overall economic activities and ordinary citizens. It called for a thorough consideration of the socio-economic consequences before taking any definitive action.

When contacted for a reaction, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero, chose not to comment at this time, suggesting the complexity of the issue at hand.

By prioritizing careful consideration, engaging key stakeholders, and focusing on the long-term benefits of local production, NUPENG aims to ensure that any decisions made regarding fuel subsidy removal are well-informed and take into account the welfare of the Nigerian people and the nation’s economic stability.

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