Govt Gets Ultimatum On New Fuel Price

BY DELE FANIMO AND ADEWALE SANYAOLU (The Guardian June 2nd 2007) 

In the interest of industrial harmony, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has given the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to revert to old price of N65 per litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.

After an emergency National Executive Council (NEC), meeting, in Lagos yesterday, the senior workers said the fuel price hike was totally unacceptable and uncalled for.

In a statement issued by the group and signed by the TUC President General, Mr. Peter Esele, and the Secretary-General Mr. John Kolawole, the union said the ultimatum begins from Monday.

The union leaders added that the recent increase of Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from five per cent to 10 per cent, the sale of Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries as well as the non-implementation of 15 per cent salary increase by the Government were part of the issues deliberated upon by the NEC.

The NEC-in session demanded a return to status quo of all the issues raised.

The government last Sunday increased the pump price of PMS from N65 to N75 per litre.

Speaking with journalists, Esele said the TUC had decided to go for a total reversal to N65 per litre for PMS and would not negotiate for anything less.

He said fuel price increase did not follow due process because the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) was not aware of the action.

Also, the increase in VAT, he said, was not approved by the National Assembly which has the constitutional power to do so.