Buhari, govs will discuss fuel price Thursday – FG


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President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors will on Thursday meet to discuss fuel pricing, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has said.

The minister spoke Sunday night shortly after a bipartite meeting of the Federal Government and the organised labour.

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) represented organised labour at the meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Addressing journalists on their resolutions, the minister disclosed that labour had investigated the report of the Technical Committee on Premium Motor Spirit Pricing Framework as agreed at the last meeting and made its submissions, alongside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Ngige said, “The labour side saw that NNPC were making some points and like I said, it is work in progress. Governors are going to discuss this on Thursday. They have discussed this at the National Economic Council (NEC) and so everybody is involved because we find ourselves in dire straits. There is no money for subsidy.

“The NNPC said what they are doing is import dependent. Deregulation is import dependent but they are doing bulk purchasing. So, they can get discounts. They are also using foreign exchange that is discounted for them. They are not buying from the parallel market. All these things will be put in basket and a price will emerge from it.”

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When further quizzed by journalists, the minister maintained that discussions between the Federal Government and the organised labour on fuel pricing has been concluded.

Speaking on the issue of electricity tariff, Ngige explained that the meeting adopted the report of its Ad-hoc Technical Committee on Electricity Tariffs, made some adjustments and transformed the committee into an implementation committee to implement the recommendations made, including mass metering.

“You will start seeing members of the committee with the Minister of Power, going around now and making sure DISCOS put meters for people, because there are reports that they don’t want to be distributing meters and that they want to be doing bulk billing and estimated billings and we don’t want that.

“There is also a resolution as regards gas companies reducing gas pricing for gas sold to power companies, GENCOS and the rest of them, so that the price of electricity per unit will go down and the consumers will benefit from it. We have given the marching orders for them to do so.

“Some paper works have to be done and once that is done, price of electricity will go down and once it goes down, the consumers will benefit,” the minister said.

According to the minister, the committee also recommended that those forcefully migrated by distribution companies from lower-paying bands C and D to upper bands A and B should petition the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) over the matter.

He said that further discussions between the Federal Government and organised labour has been put on hold until April to enable the two remaining committees to conclude their work.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha hailed organised labour for making sacrifices in this time of economic difficulty, which has been rewarded with Nigeria’s exit from recession in the third quarter of 2020.

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