…describes increase as insensitive, extortion of downtrodden
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), has called on the Federal Government to revert the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol to the old pump price of N123.50 per litre.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), had announced a new petrol pump price band of N140.80 to N143.80 per litre for the month of July.
But in a statement by signed by its General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi and made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, NASU expressed worry that the increase in petrol pump price would only exacerbate the already precarious economic situation of workers and the downtrodden in the country.
According to the Union, the announcement which came as a shock given the adverse economic impact occasioned by the COVID- 19 pandemic, was insensitive and a move to further extort from the downtrodden who were already suffering financial hardship.
The statement reads in part: “The recent Federal Government announcement of the increase in the pump price of petrol from N123 per litre to N143.80 per litre with ef-fect from 1st July, 2020 came to members of the Non- Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and indeed, all workers in the country as a shock.
That is especially coming at a time when most workers are still struggling and have not yet found their feet financially after most of them have lost incomes and continue to lose incomes and jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most workers are months back in the payment of their rents and other loans.
“We will not fail to state our conviction that all these “abracadabra” going on with the price of petroleum products, have to do with World Bank conditionality for granting loans to the Federal Government.
The Bank has never been quiet about its desire to see that the Federal Government stops the so-called subsidy on petroleum products.
“The bureaucrats heading these agencies and their collaborators in the private sector of the petroleum industry will never allow our refineries to work. In the whole politics of the import price of petroleum products, be it under subsidy regime or removal of subsidy in favour of market forces to determine retail prices in the country, it is this same bureaucrats in the petroleum industry and their private sector collaborators, who will always be the winners while the masses and the nation are the losers.
“We do not see this wickedness of the ruling class over workers and the masses of this country coming to an end soon.
Political change of batons from one political party to the other has never and will never bring about a change in the character of the ruling class. All the political parties are opposite sides of the same coin.
Therefore, no one should be surprised to find politicians who are members of a political party in the morning, becoming members of the opposition party in the evening. “The effect of the increase on workers is in two folds.
One, workers pay directly, through direct purchase of the product for their vehicles and generators and the other indirectly, due to the rise it is already causing in the prices of transportation on the very poor roads, consumer goods and essential services.