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Labour leaders call for further reduction of fuel price

Some labour union leaders have expressed dissatisfaction over the reduction in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from N145 to N130, saying the federal government ought to have reduced it further.

They spoke separately on Thursday in Lagos.

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Deputy General-Secretary, United Labour Congress of Nigeria, Chris Onyeka, said that the current crude price of $25 per barrel is not reflective in the reduction to N130 per litre.

According to him, the impact of the reduction will be minimal on the citizenry.

“Any reduction in the price, not just for petroleum products is a welcomed development. However, whether it is commensurate with the realities on the ground is another thing altogether.

“If there is more than 50 per cent drop in the price of crude, which constitutes almost between 60 and 70 per cent of the entire cost of PMS, then we expect an equivalent impact on the price reduction.

“We believe the price ought to have been less than the N130. The $25 should have an impact of probably between N60 and N70 per litre. That is the kind of reduction we expect,’’ Onyeka said.

Also, the Lagos state Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mrs. Agnes Sessi, urged the government to also reduce the prices of other petroleum products to cushion the effect on the citizens.

“We commend the federal government for the good step. However, the current price is still high because a barrel is down to about $24 and may still reduce. So, we are still expecting a further reduction in petrol price,’’ Sessi said.

On his parts, the General Secretary, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr. Olawale Afolabi, who expressed worry and scepticism over the reduction, said that there were implications.

Afolabi said that NUPENG has advocated that deregulation in the oil and gas industry should be done based on local production of refined petroleum products and not on importation.

According to him, deregulation solely based on importation will not serve Nigerians well.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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