Fuel Price Hike: Organised Labour Plans Nationwide Protest

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Organised labour including the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Nigerian Labour Congress and at least 79 other groups have vowed to shut down the country with strikes and a protest next week over increases in the price of petrol and electricity.

According to a report by Punch, the labour unions have come under an umbrella body called the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) with which they plan to organise a nationwide strike and protest next week.

The NLC however was said to be deliberating whether to join the planned protest or not.

Human Rights Lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) confirmed the development during a telephone interview on Friday and said the increase in prices of fuel and electricity during the COVID-19 pandemic was a great evil on the part of the Nigerian Government.

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Falana said;

“There is going to be a general strike and protest. We will fix a date after a meeting this evening. ASCAB is meeting today (Friday) with TUC leadership and about 79 others have indicated that they will take part in the national day of action against these anti-people developments. It will be next week but the date has not been picked yet.

Other nations are giving cash to their citizens, cancelling rents but Nigeria is imposing taxes and all other levies on its citizens. We will fight against it.”

The human rights lawyer also questioned the powers of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) to announce an increase in the price of petrol while faulting the position of the Federal Government that there was nothing it could do about the increase.

“The PPMC has no powers under the law to fix fuel price. Section 6 of the Petroleum Act makes it clear that it is the minister that can determine the price of petroleum products and the courts have affirmed this,” he said further.

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