The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress on Monday called on the Federal Government to come out with a more realistic template for determining the right cost of a litre of petrol in the country.
Although the groups welcomed the reduction of the pump price from N97 to N87 per litre, they argued that it was far from what the cost of the product should be. They spoke just as most filling stations still sold petrol at the old price of N97 instead of the N87 announced on Sunday night by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The NLC, in a statement by its General Secretary, Peter Ozo-Eson , said the reduction was “not sufficiently deep enough.” It argued that the N10 reduction was not substantial enough as it translated to only 10.3 per cent per litre as against the 33 per cent reduction in other countries. The congress also said that the government had denied Nigerians the full benefits of the falling price of crude oil in the international market with the devaluation of the naira.
It said, “The reduction in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit from N97 to N87 per litre is a welcome development. However in our estimation, it is not sufficiently deep enough. “Prior to this price reduction, government had substantially devalued the naira, thus ensuring that the full benefits of falling crude price are not passed on to Nigerians.
“The N10 price slash translates to 10.3 per cent reduction compared to 33 per cent price reduction in most countries. For instance, in the United States the price dipped to under $2 from $3 per gallon.”
The NLC also said that the price reduction should have come from the board of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the body entrusted with the responsibility of fixing the prices of petroleum products.