The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has requested the Federal Government to reduce the pump price of petroleum products in line with declining prices of crude oil in the global market as has been done by other importing countries of refined petroleum products.
The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr Peter Oso-Eson, who disclosed this at an interactive meeting with journalists, further cautioned that the socioeconomic and political happenings in the country were not only frightening, but getting to a situation that may undermine the nation’s democracy.
While expressing the fears of the NLC, he said that although the nation was actually at war, the country’s political leaders do not seem to care as their body language suggests, lamenting that Nigeria was increasingly witnessing wanton and arbitrary exercise of power by political leaders.
He particularly said, “The area that worries us very seriously is that crude prices are falling. In order countries, what that is immediately translating to, is that the price of petroleum products and pump head is coming down. In the United States, in the last one month, the price of a gallon of petrol has come down from $3 to $2, in response to this price adjustment. In our country, we are not allowed to enjoy that benefit. What government is doing is that in order to shore up its naira revenue, it has gone to devalue excessively, the naira; $13 devaluation in one day, and then a continuous process of depreciation.
“What that does, is that, because we import petroleum products largely, the gains from the falling price of crude which ought to translate to consumers, is prevented by that devaluation; because, by devaluing the cost of the head price, it might even increase.
“We say that that is wrong and the benefits of the falling price of crude must be translated to Nigerians. Therefore, going forward, we want a situation in which the pump of petrol and other petroleum products should actually be adjusted downwards,” Oso-Eson noted.
“We are worried that the country is at war but the body language of our political leaders does not suggest it. We are going around as if we are not at war. The civil war, the Nigerian Biafran war we knew what the body language was, we knew what the national position on that war was. We have this war going on, but we are going on as if nothing is happening.
“In the face of all these, we are finding wanton and arbitrary exercise of power. A situation that may actually undermine the survival of our democracy ” it noted, stressing that the foregoing throws up the need for a change in the way the political class conducts itself.