CITIZENS COMPASS – THE Federation of Informal Workers’ Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON) has advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately reverse his announcement to remove fuel subsidy across the country.
The workers made this known in a statement on Sunday, signed by its General Secretary, Gbenga Komolafe and made available to Citizens Compass.
It reads, ” The Federation of Informal Workers’ Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON) hereby calls on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately reverse the recent announcement on May 29, 2023 that subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit, a major energy resource, be removed.
“In apparent deference to this declaration, the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited announced an upward price adjustment in petroleum pump price from N194 to N537 per litre, an average of over 170% per cent increase! It would be recalled that just over a year ago, the price of diesel, another source of energy for small and medium enterprises in Nigeria was also hiked from N312 per litre in January to N800 in March, 2022 indicating a 100% increase.
“Since then, most small and medium enterprises have been struggling while many have actually closed down worsening the unemployment scourge in the country.
” The petroleum price hike on the hand is going to immediately exert a most devastating impact on the micro enterprises in the informal economy which largely rely on petroleum as the primary source of energy for production and service delivery.
” Coming just a few months after the disastrous currency redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which actually dealt a death blow on micro enterprises in the informal economy and the intensely damaging effects of the lockdown measures adopted by government with ineffectual palliatives for poor working people in the informal economy whose livelihoods were literally shut down for weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis just a few years ago, the latest subsidy removal and consequential hike in the pump price of petroleum is yet another attack on the livelihoods and survival of working people in the informal sector which currently employs over 70% of the Nigerian working population.
“The entirety of the members of the Federation of Informal Workers’ Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON) therefore calls on the Federal government and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately reverse the price hike of petroleum while a vigorous review of not only the pricing but the entire governance structure of the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry be undertaken to unravel why Nigeria remains the only OPEC country dependent on imported refined petroleum products, the bloated, clearly over invoiced subsidy regime on petroleum products by a notorious ‘cabal’, monetarist policies to stabilize local pricing of imports, (otherwise, we would have to live with incessant increase in fuel pricing to reflect ever changing forex regimes) and other critical issues that the new stance of the Federal government necessitate.
“While looking forward to this process of dialogue and a more inclusive policy framework on the oil and gas sector governance, we shall commence mobilization, alongside the trade unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), Civil Society Organizations to withdraw services and embark on mass actions in defense of the basic interests of all Nigerian working people, as already announced. “