Labor Warns of Economic Shutdown if Petrol Price Rises Again

The Organised Labour has issued a stern warning, stating its readiness to shut down the nation’s economy without prior notice should there be another increase in fuel pump price.

The labour union body made this known while lamenting the alleged hijack of the duties of the Ministry of Labour and Employment by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Comrade Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, disclosed this during a meeting of the African Trade Union alliance held in Abuja. The Organised Labour also cautioned against any attempts to undermine their collective demands.

Ajaero’s reaction was prompted by advice from Emmanuel Igbinosun, Director of Trade Union Services at the Ministry of Labour and Employment. Igbinosun urged the labour union to follow due process in their agitations before resorting to a strike.

Meanwhile, oil marketers recently signalled a potential increase in the cost of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol. They cautioned that if the dollar continues its exchange rate between N910 and N950 in the parallel market, petrol prices could ascend to between N680 per litre and N720 per litre in the few weeks. This prediction follows reports of challenges faced by fuel importers in accessing foreign exchange for commodity imports.

Recall that the organised labour had initially suspended a proposed indefinite strike on August 4, subsequent to a meeting with President Bola Tinubu.

However, while responding to the recent developments, the NLC President cautioned that the Nigerian populace has endured enough hardships due to government policies, warning that any increase in petroleum pump prices that worsens the prevailing circumstances will be met with resistance.

“As we are here now, they are contemplating increasing the pump price of petroleum products, and the Ministry of Labour for some time now will only go to the Ministry of Justice to come up with a so-called injunction to hold the hands of Labour not to respond. I didn’t want to say some of those things you will not be comfortable with because probably if they ask you to represent them tomorrow, you will not be around.

“But let me say this, Nigerian workers will not give any notice if we have not addressed the consequences of the last two increases and we wake up from our sleep to hear that they have tampered with the prices again. They have started floating ideas of a likely increase in the pump price of petroleum product,” he warned.

While commending the Director of Trade Union Services for his labour-friendly disposition, the NLC President decried the hijack of the ministry’s function by the IGP and the justice ministry.

-Jesse Voyamba

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