In light of the socioeconomic effects on businesses and Nigerians, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, or NUPENG, has cautioned the Federal Government against considering eliminating the gasoline subsidy without local refining capacity.
The removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, or PMS, is not opposed by members of the union, according to the union, but the federal government must make sure that our local refineries are fully operational before such a significant policy choice is made in the interest of Nigerians generally.
This was included in a statement made by NUPENG officials following a meeting of the union’s National Executive Council, or NEC, in Lagos.
NEC had deliberated on the state of the nation, especially after the conduct of the 2023 general elections and the increasing statements from Nigerians on the intention of the Federal Government to end the PMS subsidy regime, among others.
The communiqué was signed by the President and General Secretary of NUPENP, Prince Williams Akporeha, and Afolabi Olawale, respectively.
It noted that “NEC-in-Council also examined the recurrent discussions for the removal of subsidy from the Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS, and expresses deep concerns over the failure of the Federal Government to do the needful as advised by Organised Labour that deregulation of the PMS should not be predicated on importation of the product because of all the obvious negative impacts on the socio-economic life of the people and nation in general.
“The Council-in-session expressed disappointment in the failure of the government to deliver on its promises of making the three national refineries work before contemplating the removal of the subsidy on this very important economic item in view of the enormous implication and the impact on the economic activities and considering the socio-economic importance of PMS to ordinary Nigerians.
“The NEC-in-session reaffirms that in as much as our Union is not averse to the removal of PMS subsidy, the Federal Government must ensure that our local refineries are put into full operation before a such major policy decision is taken in the interest of the generality of Nigerians.”