THE Joint Action Front (JAF) has called on the leadership of the labour movement to provide the necessary leadership for resistance against hike in the prices of petroleum products and electricity tariff.
Comrade Abiodun Aremu (a.k.a Comrade Aremson), JAF’s Secretary, made the call in a whatsapp chat with National Record following the news of increase in the ex-depot price of petrol to N151.56k on Wednesday.
He said JAF’s position has always been clear on petrol price increase which is that it has to resist every fuel hike.
“JAF’s position has always been clear, that we have to resist every fuel hike! Not only fuel price increase, but hikes in electricity tariff and other basic sectors of the economy that have devastating impacts on the living conditions of the people. Hence, our consistent position is to demand of the labour movement to provide the necessary leadership for the fight. For JAF, we have never shied away from street actions and our goal of SYSTEM CHANGE that the country should no longer continue with this unjust system of exploitation and suffering,” Comrade Aremson said. (His emphasis)
He further contended: “We cannot, as a movement, be indifferent to the neoliberal policies of deregulation and privatisation or be at home with a regime that is anchored on IMF and World Bank economic direction and not, as expected, put up any serious resistance against hike in fuel prices!
“Neoliberalism is an all pervasive instrument – economically and politically – against the interest of the working class and the oppressed poor masses. We have no option than to vigorously fight it but failure on our part as a movement in doing so in the past five years, with the last attempt being May 2016, has already emboldened the corrupt ruling regime in its continuous imposition of unjust policies and hardships on the people! It’s either an organised fight led by labour or an unorganised fight would spontaneously break out at some points when living conditions become extremely unbearable!”
The price increase came to public notice in an internal memo by the Ibadan, Oyo State depot of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The PPMC said the new price regime commenced on Wednesday September 2, 2020.
The internal memo, which went viral on social media, and sent to all stakeholders, was signed by the Ibadan Depot Manager, D. O. Abalaka.
The memo, referenced PPMC/IB/LS/020 states: “Please be informed that a new product price adjustment has been effected on our payment platform.
“To this end, the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is now one hundred and fifty-one naira, fifty-six kobo (N151.56k) per litre.
“This takes effect from September 2, 2020.”
The depot price, which is the price at which petroleum products are sold to petroleum retail dealers at the depots, is a prelude increase in the pump price of petrol at various prices across the country since the federal government recently claimed that full deregulation has commenced in the downstream sector of the oil industry.