According to Joe Ajaero, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerians are being misled about the cost of gas at the pump.
This was said by Mr. Ajaero in an interview with Channels Television on July 18.
He claims that independent marketers are now bringing in refined petroleum products into the nation and that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), which had previously been the exclusive importers, is no longer the case.
But because Nigerians were demanding to know who the new importers are, he asked that their names be made public.
“NNPCL cannot import and assert that the product was brought in by marketers; this is untrue. Why would the government seek a court order and utilize other steps if they had removed subsidies for petroleum goods and then there was an unexpected price hike just as committee meetings were about to begin?It appears that a period of unjust punishment of Nigerians and widespread fabrication of facts has begun.If you create a single market where everyone must exchange dollars at N800 to $1 and you eliminate the market where individuals were exchanging dollars at N450 to import, you will have to notify us that you imported it at N900 to $1000 as soon as the value of the dollar improves.
- “Despite the fact that the products you have now are not the ones that were imported under N800/$, Clearly, the government is toying with Nigerians. What is happening is not Economics, but a reign of impunity.”
The Labour leader also called out the decision of the government to make N70 billion available to subsidize the National Assembly, meanwhile, the fuel subsidy was removed which has affected only the poor masses. He accused the government of taking away benefits from the poor and giving them to the rich.
The compressed natural gas (CNG) context
Mr. Ajaero said that the CNG agreement, if already in place would have created a cheaper alternative (N100/litre) for poor Nigerians who do not have the luxury of paying for fuel at higher prices.
However, the further increase in fuel pump prices while the CNG agreement is still being consummated is an affront to Nigerians.
He stated further that institutions like the African Development Bank (AfDB) had expressed interest in funding the CNG alternative in the country and he does not understand why the government is not ready to kickstart the process of making CNG available as an alternative fuel for Nigerians.
He accused the government of being dictatorial and currently attacking Nigerians through the increase of prices (fuel, school fees, electricity tariffs).