BARELY a week to the planned nationwide protests by organised labour under the auspices of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigerian governors are set to truncate the protests via a meeting with the leadership of both the NLC and TUC.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed the intention of the NGF at the end of a closed-door meeting of the governors Wednesday night in Abuja. Dr Fayemi told journalists after the meeting that the subsidy was part of the discussions at the meeting and that they agreed to meet with the leadership of organised labour as sub-national leaders in order to help salvage the situation.
“The Forum also discussed the issue around petroleum subsidy and concluded to engage the leadership of the NLC and TUC as sub-national leaders on how best to address the issue with a view to salvaging the Nigerian economy for the Nigerian people,” he said.
The federal government had last year announced its plans to fully deregulate fuel price by removing monthly subsidy as from the first quarter of this year. This was a decision following the recommendation of the National Economic Council (NEC) in November 2021 which asked the government to hike the price of petrol to N302 per litre in February 2022 from the current price band of N162 to N168 in major cities and N170 and above in remote areas across the country.
The NLC had in last December at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting resolved to hold protests in all state capitals across the country on January 27 and conclude it with a grand protest on February 1, 2022 in Abuja, to send a clear signal of workers resistance and disapproval to the planned total removal of subsidy on petrol.
Subsidies on diesel and kerosene have been removed over the years leading to very high cost of the products. At the moment, the price of litre of kerosene is hover between N380 to N400 where available, while the price per litre of diesel is above N300 per litre.
The price of cooking gas has equally gone up since last year, with 5kg cylinder which used to sell at N1,200 now going for over N4,000.