THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Saturday described fuel subsidy as a huge fraud, saying that the government is merely paying for inefficiency if it claims to be paying the subsidy.
Addressing a press conference at the Labour House, Abuja yesterday, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, warned the government to be weary of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its advices; nothing that many media houses have been trying to amplify the IMF recommendation that subsidy should be removed.
Comrade Wabba was addressing the media on the public declaration of Nigeria as host of the 6th AFRICAN meeting of solidarity with Cuba, coming up from September 23 to 25, 2019 and Inauguration of Local Organizing Committee).
The NLC President said: “Let me tell our country and our government that certainly they should be weary of IMF and their advices; because I saw that many media houses are trying to amplify that the IMF has recommended that subsidy should be removed.
“In the first instance, is there a subsidy? This is a question we have not been able to answer. And I want to collaborate with what President Buhari who said years back that subsidy is actually corruption and that whoever is subsidizing is aiding corruption and we stand by that position.
“In fact that has remained a consistent position of NLC. We can kill that issue of subsidy if we refine our products for our domestic use and it is not rocket science.
Very soon, we are going to forward a well-documented document to the government on that.
“You recall that two or three years back, we invited one of the best Nigerian from Texas that has consulted to many countries around the world on the issue of oil and gas, and he gave us the analysis that our refineries can be upgraded.
“Nothing is wrong with our refineries, it is just conspiracy. Refineries can be upgraded from one capacity to another. The four refineries we have, if serviced and upgraded can service our population and the entire West Africa countries. But because it pays more for corruption tendencies, that is why we prefer importation than refining our product for domestic use. So clearly this issue should be situated.”
Wabba added: “Whereas we celebrate countries like Venezuela that have stood their ground today to say no; the policies must work for the people and not for the capitalists, our own case is a sorry one. The situation is even laughable, you have cassava in the farm, you now harvest the cassava, instead of you to process it for your household consumption, you said no and sell the cassava to others and now go back to the people you sold your cassava to, to buy garri that you and your family will eat and you are now arguing about the price again with your family members.
“This is simply the pathetic story of Nigeria. God Almighty has already given us this resource in abundance, why should our citizens have to suffer to get it for use?
“In the first place, we should only be talking about subsidy if actually, we do not produce this product. But whereas we are producing it and in abundance in that matter, yet we suffer like we don’t even own a drop of it. This is the shameful ordeal Nigerians go through. It is really a fun situation.
“You own crude oil, you pay for it to be extracted from the ground, you pay for it to be taken outside to be refined, you pay for a tax to where you took it to and you also pay to bring it back to your country for consumption. In fact, we are only but paying for inefficiency in the country and it is very shameful.”