Organised Labour yesterday demanded further downward review of prices of petroleum products in the country, saying Nigerians should not pay more than N60 for a litre of petrol.
This is even as it has advocated that an investment of 20 percent of the entire donations received by the Federal Government towards mitigating the coronavirus pandemic, should be used to fund the activities of various research institutes across the country.
Addressing the media as part of activities to commemorate the International Workers’ Day amid global COVID-19 pandemic yesterday, the President of the United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC), Joe Ajaero said the present prices are a rip-off of the people and indeed not justified by any known market parameters.
“Again, the ULC demands that the price of PMS, AGO and DPK be reviewed drastically downwards. We should not be paying anything more than N60/litre of PMS and the federal government should allow this reflected at the pumps to stop this gang-up against the masses,” he said.
Ajaero said it was a shame that Nigeria has continued importing petroleum products , while the products have become inaccessible to majority of the citizens thus causing serious distortions to the nation’s economy.
He lamented that government has failed to live up to its electoral promises of reviving and building new refinery.
He stated that Nigeria spends nearly 50 percent of foreign exchange received on financing the purchase of refined petroleum products, which has made it difficult for the country to benefit even when the price of oil was up in the international market.
He insisted that the current price of crude internationally has forced down the price of PMS all over the world and Nigerians must also benefit.
Ajaero who said workers have never been confronted with the magnitude of the battle presented by COVID-19, commended the workers on the frontline, adding that investing in research institutes was pertinent as the mandate relates to medical, pharmaceutical and herbal research to tackle the ravaging scourge.
He insisted that the most effective strategy to fight Coronavirus pandemic, and indeed other national challenges is to build solidarities and widening inclusivity across various divides.
Ajaero who described this year’s celebration as an unusual one, urged the federal government to immediately set up a post COVID-19 think tank, whose membership should be wide and inclusive to come up with a roadmap that would drive the nation out of the expected challenges that are inevitable.
According to him, the national COVID-19 taskforce should be immediately reconstituted to include labour movement whose members are at the frontlines of the struggle against the pandemic.