NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday advised President Goodluck Jonathan against further increases in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, warning that such increases would collapse the government.
Reacting to President Jonathan’s claim that only the removal of fuel subsidy will allow for domestic refining of fuel, NLC in a statement by its President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, noted that President Jonathan’s claim was not only highly disturbing, but dishonest to Nigerians.
The statement contended that the January protests would seem a child’s play compared to what might follow any attempt to deregulate the downstream sector of the oil industry, which in government language meant increases in pump price of fuel.
According to the statement, “With the wave of revelations regarding monumental corruption in the Petroleum industry it will be unimaginable to contemplate any other thing than focusing on ridding the industry of the endemic corruption that has become so pervasive in the industry. Nigerians would love to see President Goodluck Jonathan dissipate energy on fighting corruption in the industry as he promised Nigerians. All those so far indicted in corrupt practices in the Fuel Subsidy scam have not yet been prosecuted.
More revelations on corruption keep coming out by the day. The argument proffered that domestic refining of Petroleum products is only possible under private operators cannot be defended. Our refineries were built and operated successfully as fully public owned enterprises in the past until the industry was massively inflicted with corruption and home for corrupt government officials and their cronies, the refineries functioned well.”
“Today, the problem with the petroleum industry is largely lack of decency and political will on the part of the government to deal with those who have already been identified as having corruptly enriched themselves with funds meant for the industry. We believe Mr. President is not being honest with Nigerians about the real problems of the industry.
The same President who set up several committees to identify the crisis in the industry and who have been given detailed reports by the committees cannot validly say he is still helpless. Some of the committees, including those set up by the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee led by Hon.