NNPC Faults 145 Naira Per Litre Petrol Price Cap

DPR, Niger State, PetrolFormer Group Managing Directors (GMDs) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) say the petrol price cap of 145 Naira per litre is not harmonious with the liberalisation policy of the Federal Government.

A statement by the NNPC’S spokesman Mr Garba Mohammed, said the 145 Naira per litre price cap did not go well together with the liberalisation policy when factors such as the foreign exchange rate, crude cost and Nigerian Ports Authority charges remain uncapped.

The former NNPC GMDs made this position known at the end of a one-day meeting put together by the NNPC’S Group Managing Director Dr Maikanti Baru.

The stakeholders are also expressing concern over the declining production level of crude oil in Nigeria and its consequences on the environment and the nation’s revenue.

They pointed out that if the current situation was left unchecked, it could lead to the crippling of the NNPC and the nation’s oil and gas sector.

The stakeholders are also worried about the level of the NNPC’S debt profile and advised that, as a matter of urgency, the NNPC should establish the true state of its current financial status and immediately decide on the most appropriate capitalisation model.

NNPC Says No Plan To Increase Petrol Pump Price

Maikanti Baru of NNPC on Petrol priceThe Group General Manager (GGM) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, has ruled out possibility of increase in the pump price of petrol.

Mr Baru gave the assurance on Tuesday to allay fears triggered by online reports suggesting that the Federal Government would soon increase the price.

He told reporters in Abuja that he had not received any directive for increase.

The NNPC official declared that the supply situation for fuel in Nigeria was robust and would not push price increase.

“I am not aware that they are planning to do any increase.

“You know that there are several factors that necessitated that, especially the issue of exchange rate that has moved and we don’t expect any serious changes,” he told reporters.

According to him, the request for forex for importation of petrol had been met.

“So far the request for forex for importation of products, especially the Premium Motor Spirit, has been made and our supply status is robust.

“We are meeting the market demands. We have over 1.4 billion litres of petrol in the ground. I don’t see any basis,” he reiterated.

Mr Baru, however, said that “the review could be done by the right body, the PPPRA as far as product pricing is concerned”.

Petrol Price Band

The Nigerian government had in May introduced a new price band for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also referred to as petrol, pegging the highest price at 145 Naira per litre from 86.50 Naira.

The new price was set after a meeting of various stakeholders presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The government said it was a strategy to increase and stabilise the supply of the product. With the new policy any Nigerian entity could import the product, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by regulatory agencies.

However, petrol supply is stable the exchange rate of the Naira to the dollar had increased since the new price was introduced, raising speculations about possible increase.

NLC Will Continue To Negotiate With Government – Ayuba Wabba

NLC, Ayuba WabbaThe Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Ayuba Wabba, says the NLC will continue to negotiate with the Federal Government over its opposition to the hike in the pump price of petrol.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Mr Wabba noted that the tradition of the NLC is to continue to dialogue on issues that it is passionate about, especially the increase in electricity tariff and pump price of petrol.

The labour union, had on Sunday evening suspended an industrial action it called on Wednesday, May 18 to resist the new price of petrol.

This was after an emergency meeting of its organs – the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee, where talks were focused on the strike and the way forward.

There were reports that the suspension of the strike was one of the conditions the Federal Government had given for it to resume negotiations with the NLC but Mr Wabba reiterated that the strike was suspended due to the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians including the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly.

He did not give an assurance that all matters would be resolved, but promised that the union would indeed resume negotiations with the government, adding that they would remain consistent in their demands.

“We will go there with open mind to discuss those issues. In the discussion process, we will try to advance a lot of reasons why we think that it should not be only this issue of importation; we can also look at other policy options which we are going to come to the table with,” he said.

Mr Wabba also explained the rationale behind the decision of the labour union to embark on the strike and which they would continue to press for.

“Our standpoint is clear and unambiguous, we believe that it is not sustainable and it will be at a very high cost to continue to over-rely on importation of this product that God has blessed Nigeria with.

“As far back as 2011, we had a documented written agreement with government where they requested for a full-year monitoring period within which to ensure that the issue of importing products will be addressed.

“But here we are, many years down the line we are still at the same point. So, we thought that as NLC we must continue to be consistent and that is the process that actually drove the process of engagement of the NEC and the decision that was taken.”

Mr Wabba stated that as the union resumes negotiations with the government, they would be demanding for a timeline for which the new price hike would be in place as they believe the policy is not sustainable because it is dependent on factors like the foreign exchange rate which is beyond Nigeria’s control.

“We must also agree, like we did in 2011 – documented. When do we think we can be able to move into the next phase of fixing our refineries and also addressing the issue of bunkering and sabotage going on?

“We have realised that what is going on in the oil and gas sector, where most of our facilities are vandalized is because of the fact that it is cheaper and easier and you make quick money when you import and dispose of it.

“Therefore, it is like an incentive to those people that it is cheaper and easier to import product instead of working towards (rebuilding) the refineries,” he said.

Labour Union Ends Strike Called To Resist New Petrol Price

NLC, Strike, PetrolThe Ayuba Wabba faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress has suspended an industrial action called to resist the new price of petrol.

The leader of the union announced the suspension on Sunday.

It came after an emergency meeting of its organs – the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee.

At the meeting, talks were focused on the strike and the way forward.

Mr Wabba said the strike was suspended due to the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians including the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Tinubu.


In a statement issued after the meeting, Comrade Wabba said the industrial action was informed by the twin issues of the unjustified and illegal hike in electricity tariff and increase in the pump price of petrol.

The Congress also announced plans to resume negotiations with the Federal Government, with a view to resolving the issues that prompted the strike.

The NLC President added that the Congress would continue to resist wrong legislations, policies and programmes that would impact negatively on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

Pump price of petrol was increase from 86.50 Naira to 145 Naira by the Federal Government on May 11.

The 67.6 per cent increase had angered the labour union, with the union saying it was insensitive.

 

NLC Strike Over Petrol Price Hike Enters Day Three

NLC, Strike, PetrolThe ongoing industrial action of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has lingered into the third day, as the labour union insists that the Federal Government must reverse the increase in the price of petrol.

In Osun State, the NLC members, the Joint Action Front and students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile –Ife continued the peaceful protest, urging residents to reject the 145 Naira petrol pump price.

Commercial and other related activities in the ancient town went on as the protesters blocked the popular Lageere Roundabout, causing traffic for few hours whilst the protest lasted.

The workers comprising basically of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Non-Academic Staff Unions of Universities in OAU, moved from the campus to Mayfair roundabout, distributing flyers to motorists and people on the street.

NLC, Strike, Petrol

Leading the protest, the Chairman of ASUU in OAU, Dr. Caleb Aborisahde, told Channels Television that the Federal Government must rescind its decision, else the industrial disharmony would continue indefinitely.

He also urged the Federal Government to build local refineries to make the petroleum product readily available to Nigerians.

In Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State and some parts of the state in southwest Nigeria, the compliance level in the industrial action remained the same.

Human and vehicular activities were in top gear, as residents defied the stay at home order of the labour union.

While monitoring the exercise in Abeokuta, a member of the human rights groups, Yinka Folarin, blamed the Federal Government for allegedly orchestrating the division among the leadership of the organised labour unions.

Meanwhile, the old long queues at fuel stations across the metropolis before the introduction of the current 145 Naira per litre of Premium Motor Spirit popularly called petrol is fast disappearing as residents can now get the commodity at ease.

In Nigeria’s northern region, the NLC Chairman in Plateau State, Jibrin Bancir, and a member of the Civil Liberty Organisation, Steve Aluko, said that the union had continued to monitor proceedings at the state and the federal secretariats where the entrances were locked.NLC, Strike, Osun

However, secondary school students were going about their studies, as the Trade Union Congress were not part of the ongoing strike with only the primary schools under lock and key.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government had directed all ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies to invoke the provision of “no work no pay” on any staff who is absent from work.

While the Ayuba Waba led faction of the NLC insists on carrying on with the industrial action, the Joe Ajaero led faction had reached an agreement with the government to set up a committee to resolve agitations over the new pump price of petrol.

NLC Strike Deepens In Abuja As It Enters Day Two

Ayuba Waba, NLC, Strike, AbujaThe Ayuba Waba-led protest of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Abuja on Thursday gathered more momentum as it enters its second day.

This comes as the Federal Government issued circulars to ministries and parastatals, threatening to enforce the ‘no work no pay’ rule on any government worker who participates in the industrial action.

The protesting labour leaders insisted that they would not be deterred by such directives from the government, as the union and its allies marched through the highways in the Federal Capital Territory.

Waba, who is the President of NLC, urged members of the union and other stakeholders to be willing to make sacrifices for the struggle.

However, some workers complied with the Federal Government’s ‘no work to pay’ warning, as workers at the federal secretariat and the National Hospital resumed work.

The Vice President of NLC, Peter Adeyemi, and a member of a civil society organisation, Jaye Gaskia, said that the number of those who believe in their course would not stop them from achieving success.

It is not yet clear how far the protesting workers are ready to press home their demands.

Negotiation meetings between the workers union and the Federal Government on Tuesday had ended in a deadlock, as the leadership of the NLC under Waba walked out of the meeting.

However, government reached an agreement with another faction of the NLC led by Joe Ajaero, to set up a committee to resolve agitations over the new pump price of petrol.

NLC Strike: Our Group Is Not Being Used – Ajaero

AJaero, NLC StrikeThe factional leader of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Joe Ajaero, has dismissed the allegation that his faction of the union is being used to divide the NLC in order for government to have its way on the new petrol pump price.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Mr Ajaero critized the manner in which the Waba-led faction of the NLC has gone about the dialogue with the federal government over the issue.

He condemned the Waba group for making decisions affecting affiliate unions without consulting the leadership of those unions.

He added that the petroleum workers belong to his group of the NLC and were key players in the issue being debated, and would not have their interests misrepresented.

He admitted that the increase in petrol price was high at 145 Naira but there were different schools of thought, which includes the demand for palliatives, while some felt the President by his credibility deserved some trust.

 

Divided House

Mr Ajaero affirmed that the two factions of the NLC have been in existence since the 2015 election of the Nigeria Labour Congress. Although there have been efforts to reconcile them but these have not been successful.

He said that the decision of the government to negotiate with both factions of the union must have been because the issues at stake required that all stakeholders be involved.

He explained further, “The federal government realised that the issue at stake was petroleum and NUPENG made it clear that the other group cannot represent their interest, this is the NLC they belong to and they sent the invitation across.

“We got there in the spirit of joint leadership and the other group said they were not going to talk. I think we were the ones who carried ourselves to the federal government to show our division.

“Ordinarily if we had a unified position and carried it to the federal government, they would stand by it.”

Strike Will Expand As It Progresses, NLC Confident

NLC, Strike, Amechi AsugwuniThe leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are confident that their nationwide indefinite strike to protest fuel price hike announced by the Federal Government would achieve its purpose.

“The strike commenced this morning as I speak to you and as we progress on the indefinite strike, it will expand itself,” Vice President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Amechi Asugwuni, said on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily.

Talks between the federal government and the Ayuba Wabba-led Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had ended in a deadlock on Tuesday evening.

The NLC delegation to the meeting, led by its President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, walked out of the negotiation following the inability of the two parties to reach an agreement and thereafter told journalists that the strike would hold on Wednesday as planned.

This was after the National Industrial Court had restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from going on its planned strike, pending the hearing and determination of a suit brought before it by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.

Mr Asugwuni, however, said that the NLC was unaware of any court order stopping it from embarking on strike.

He maintained that as far as they were concerned, the NLC had no case with the Federal Government at the Industrial Court and there has been no summon to the contrary.

Mr Asugwuni said that if there was anything of such, it would be communicated with due process followed and not based on newspaper headlines or an interview granted the media.

“If at all the AGF got the injunction as claimed, the truth of the matter is that it is total disrespect for dialogue.

“That is to tell you that even while they were with labour on the table, they had already started the court processes against our interest. So they were not sincere from the beginning,” he said.

He insisted that labour’s insistent on proceeding with the strike was in the interest of the people.

NLC Is One

Mr Asugwuni also argued that the Wabba-led faction of the NLC remains the legitimate NLC that should be recognised by the government and citizens.

“NLC is one in Nigeria. So when I see people talk about faction, they are trying to play down on Nigeria’s constitution.

“Looking at the Federal Government through the comrade governor, Adams Oshiomhole, giving recognition to an impersonator also looks criminal. As far as we are concerned, it must be discouraged.

He also questioned the credibility of the position held by the Ajaero-led faction of the NLC.

“I watched Ajaero talk and you can see his posture. It was a stage-managed interview trying to divide the opinion of people but they can’t stand.

“Nigerian Labour Congress is one and we have one office, one President who is Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and who is right there in his office.

“The just concluded May Day, the federal government was represented and they were there. So how can they turn back now? Because you want to divide the house, you start recognizing people you already know are neither here nor there.”

Kaduna Workers Defy NLC Strike Over Fuel Price Hike

Kaduna Workers, NLC Strike, Fuel PriceCivil servants in Kaduna State on Wednesday defied the order of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to stay at home in protest against the fuel price hike announced by the federal government.

The labour unions had issued a directive asking workers in both public and private sectors to shun their offices starting from Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in solidarity to the planned nationwide strike by the organized labour.

But rather than adhering to the directive, the workers resumed for duties in their various offices.

At the state secretariat complex along Independence Way, workers were seen in their offices as early as 7:30 in the morning.

Also, banks, schools, markets and other private establishments in the state capital opened  for normal business.

Those who spoke to our correspondent said that the strike is uncalled for. They called on the leadership of the NLC and TUC to amicably resolve all pending issues with Federal Government without embarking on a strike.

At the NLC state secretariat at Lafia road, only a handful of members were seen within the premises in their uniforms. The state chairman, Adamu Ango, was not available for comment, and none of the available was willing to speak to us.

NLC Strike: FG Warns ‘No Work No Pay’

SGF_Babachir_LawalThe federal government has advised all workers to respect the rule of law and desist from participating in an illegal strike.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, in a statement on Tuesday evening, said that the government will guarantee the safety of workers and their work places, and expects that normal work will continue in the interest of the nation.

Mr Lawal added that acts of intimidation, harassment, including barricading of gates, locking up of offices and preventing workers from carrying out their lawful duties will be met with appropriate response by security operatives.

The federal government has also directed all ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies to invoke the provision of “no work no pay” in respect of any staff who is absent.

The full text of the statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is reproduced below:

 

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION

PRESS RELEASE

PROPOSED INDEFINITE STRIKE ACTION BY THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS

The attention of all Public Officers is drawn to the notice issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on an indefinite strike from Wednesday, 18th May, 2016. 

This notice is regrettably given in spite of an Order by the Industrial Court against the strike action. 

Government, therefore, calls upon and advises all workers to respect the laws of the land and to desist from participating in an illegal strike action. 

Government undertakes to guarantee the safety of workers and their work places, and expects that normal work will continue in the interest of the nation. 

Accordingly, security agencies have been directed to ensure unimpeded access to offices, work places and markets.  Acts of intimidation, harassment, including barricading of gates, locking up of offices, blocking of roads and preventing workers from carrying out their lawful duties will be met with appropriate response by the law enforcement agencies.

All workers, whether in public or private sector are further reminded of the Trade Dispute Act, 2004, which provides that ‘where any worker takes part in a strike, he shall not be entitled to any wages or remuneration for the period of the strike and any such period shall not count for the purpose of reckoning the period of continuous employment and all rights dependent on continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly’.

Accordingly, all Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Government Agencies are hereby directed to invoke the provision of ‘no work no pay’ in respect of any staff who absents him or herself from work to join the strike action. 

Attendance registers are required to be opened in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Engineer Babachir David Lawal

Secretary to the Government of the Federation

Fuel Price Hike: Wabba-Led NLC Says Strike Commences Wednesday

NLC, Strike, fuel priceTalks between the federal government and the Ayuba Wabba-led Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have ended in a deadlock.

According to our correspondent at the venue of the meeting, the NLC delegation to the meeting, led by its President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, walked out of the negotiation following the inability of the two parties to reach an agreement.

Mr Wabba thereafter told journalists that the strike will hold on Wednesday as planned.

The federal government earlier reached an agreement with the Joe Ajaero-led faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to set up a committee to resolve agitations over the new pump price of petrol.

The committee is expected to address the downward review of the pump price, determine new minimum wage and consult with the PPPRA for effective price regulation of petroleum products.

The committee is to submit its report in two weeks.

The leadership of the NLC have been divided over the threat to embark on the national industrial action in an attempt to coerce the government to revert the increase in price of petrol.

The National Industrial Court, earlier on Tuesday restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from going on its planned strike on Wednesday, pending the hearing and determination of a suit brought before it by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

The Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, dragged the NLC to the Industrial Court, seeking an order of the court restraining the NLC from proceeding with the planned strike.

He had sought the order on the ground that the strike would paralyse the nation’s economy.

Fuel Price Hike: Reps, Labour Meeting Ends Without Resolution

Labour, Fuel PriceA meeting organised by the House of Representatives to avert the planned strike by organised labour over fuel price hike has ended without a definite position agreed upon.

The House had in a special session on Monday called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve its planned strike on Wednesday pending the outcome of the intervention of the parliament on the matter.

The 18-member adhoc committee headed by the Chief Whip of the House, Rep Ado Doguwa, met representatives of the NLC led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba and seven others.

Speaking after the closed door meeting, a member of the adhoc committee, Nicholas Ossai, said that it was up to labour to take a decision and communicate to Nigerians.