In response to recent media reports suggesting an impending increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a stern warning of a potential nationwide strike if the price exceeds the current rate of N617,leadership report.

The NLC emphasized that this strike action could be initiated without prior notification. President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, delivered this warning during a meeting of the African Trade Union Alliance in Abuja. He asserted that labor unions would vehemently oppose any further hikes in fuel prices.

The controversy stems from the removal of PMS subsidies by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu upon assuming office on May 29 earlier this year. The price of petrol has since escalated twice: from N194 per liter to N537 on May 30, and further to N617 on July 19.

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The NLC, already engaged in protests and considering additional industrial actions, asserts that the government’s economic policies are rendering workers’ wages meaningless. Comrade Ajaero urged the government to reconsider these policies, emphasizing the negative impact of inflation and currency devaluation on workers’ financial well-being.

Meanwhile, the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) has joined the discourse, calling for the removal of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel. This, they argue, would alleviate the burden on truck owners who transport PMS across the country. The association also implored the government to address the deplorable state of roads and work on fixing the country’s refineries for more efficient in-country refining.

NOGASA further proposed involving the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in collecting taxes from crude oil loading terminals, while urging a tax holiday for the downstream sector to offset capital losses.

As speculations of an impending PMS price hike loom, many filling stations in Lagos have temporarily ceased operations. Long queues have formed at the few stations still operational, amidst concerns that the pump price might rise to N750 per liter due to unfavorable exchange rates and related challenges faced by oil marketers.

Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, the national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), deferred to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) for any official pronouncements on the matter. Transporters expressed frustrations over restricted access to fuel as numerous stations suspended operations. The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) had previously noted that oil marketers had started importing petrol into the country.


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