The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has warned that the lingering scarcity and outrageous prices of petroleum products across the nation may lead to mass revolt.
NLC in a statement signed by its President, Ayuba Wabba, on Friday said “there is an extent to which Nigerians can endure the current hardship occasioned by the scarcity of petroleum products.
According to NLC, “There’s a limit the people can stomach prevailing disruptions caused by petrol scarcity especially increased fares and associated dislocations in land, air, rail and water transportation and indeed hiccups in the manufacturing sector all linked to the current scarcity of refined petroleum products in the country.”
The labour union noted that the lingering fuel scarcity and high cost of Diesel, Aviation fuel has exposed the failure of deregulation and importation of products in Nigeria under the Buhari-led administration.
NLC stated that local refining of petroleum products is the only answer to stabilise products prices and uninterrupted supplies of petroleum products.
“It’s with great pain, sadness and alarm that the NLC observes the continued acute scarcity of petroleum products at different filling stations in the country.
“A crisis that started with the supply of sub-standard Premium Motor Oil (PMS) has now degenerated into a persisting scarcity of not only PMS but also other petroleum products such as Diesel and Aviation Fuel.
“It’s deeply disturbing that motorists, Keke operators, bike riders and other users of petrol products now spend incredibly long hours at filling stations before being serviced or sent away empty-handed. This is indeed a daylight premiere of unending episodes of nightmares.
Wabba said the sale of a litre of aviation fuel at N580, a litre of petrol at N220, while a litre of diesel for N625 in most parts of the country has a grave socio-economic strain on ordinary Nigerians.
“In most parts of Nigeria, manufacturing has ground to a halt. The current haemorrhage induced by the prevailing scarcity of petroleum products has very grave concomitant effects on the already parlous unemployment and security situation in our country.
“The persisting scarcity of refined petroleum products has unleashed a tsunami of very dire economic realities such as exorbitant airfare, cancellation of scheduled flights, destruction of thousands of automobile engines by adulterated fuel and wastage of productive hours. In short, today’s reality screams “Crisis Foretold”.
The NLC asked the federal government to judiciously use the bumper harvest of petro-dollars to fix local oil refineries.