Fuel subsidy : Current labour leaders’ve lost legal, moral authorities to speak for Nigerian workers – VATLAD

Fuel subsidy : Current labour leaders’ve lost legal, moral authorities to speak for Nigerian workers – VATLAD

A non-governmental group, Vanguard For Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD), says the present leadership of labour unions in the country have lost the trust of Nigerian workers and cannot speak on their behalf over the issue of fuel subsidy removal.

The group, which hinged its position on the partisan stance of the labour unions leaders during the last presidential election, called on the Federal Government to engage only patriotic labour leaders and experienced professionals in the oil sector to seek best way to dealing with managing the effect of removal of fuel subsidy.

VATLAD, in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade (Engr) Igbini Odafe Emmanuel, on Monday, also called on President Bola Tinubu to direct the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to immediately withdraw its recent hikes in prices of petroleum products and maintain the pre-May 29, 2023 status until the end of June 2023.

The statement reads in full :

“First, permit us to respectfully inform Nigerians that many members of our Organisation were or are employees of the major Oil and Gas Companies in Nigeria and have held critical and leading positions in the Labour Unions of the Oil and Gas Companies. And therefore we are very very conversant with the issues around the Oil and Gas business in Nigeria and the vexed issue of Fuel Subsidy.

Since over twenty years now, we have been known and on record, to have consistently championed campaign against the massive fraud in the Oil and Gas Companies and Crude Oil theft through the International Oil Companies (IOCs).

We have also consistently demanded major Reforms in NNPC and the Laws governing Exploration, Exploitation, Sales and Exports of our Crude Oil and Gas.

We also raised serious objection to some critical provisions in the hurriedly made Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which we warned would create more problem than good that Nigerians expect it to solve. The PIA should be repealed without delay.

Having stated the above for purpose of establishing our Patriotism and Unbiased in the position we seek to state on this ongoing threat by Nigerian Labour Unions (TUC and NLC) to embark on Nationwide Strike Action against President Tinubu’s Decision to execute the Decision by former President Buhari and other Presidents to remove Fuel Subsidy Payment that is nothing but a monumental Scam for decades now, we then state our position as follows, that:

1) Fuel Subsidy on Refined Petroleum Products never existed any day in the history of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector, right from the day it was first commence in the 1970s. As a result there shouldn’t even be a debate at all on whether to remove or retain what never existed, ab initio.

2) the Nigerian Labour Unions are legally justified to take lawful actions which include withdrawal of the Services of their members in order to oppose any action of Government of Nigeria that will negatively impact on the economic and financial status of Nigerian Workers who are bonafide members of their Unions, without first or simultaneously taking corresponding action to mitigate such negative effects on its members.

3) the Nigerian Labour Unions are legally allowed to demand for corresponding increase in Salaries and Allowances of their members whenever there is anticipated or actual increase in cost of living in Nigeria.

4) each and every Nigerian worker who is a member of the Nigerian Labour Unions does enjoy the Fundamental Human Right to freely belong to any Political Party or Association as unambiguously provided for and guaranteed by section 40 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended, which is also domesticated in the Trade Union Act, 2004.

5) sadly, in gross violation of this provision of the Nigerian Constitution, the current Leadership of the two Nigerian Labour Unions dragged the Labour Unions into total partisan membership of the Labour Party (Political Party) and tried hard to compel all Nigerians Workers to support, campaign and vote for the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the just concluded 2023 General Elections.

6) this Action of this current Leadership of Nigerian Labour Unions confirms they are fully politically partisan and supporters of the Labour Party and its Candiate that are strongly opposed to the emergence of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President of Nigeria. It should be noted that Labour Leaders are legally prohibited from being politically partisan in discharge of their Official Duties

7) as a result of this, they have completely lost their Moral and Legal Authorities to represent and defend the general interests of all Nigerian Workers who are bonafide members of the two Central Labour Unions of Nigeria.

8) these Labour Leaders can no longer be the right people to meet with Federal Government Team to negotiate on behalf of Nigerian Workers, on the way forward and how to address the Economic and Financial impact on their Salaries and Welfare

In conclusion, we also call on President Tinubu to direct the Management of NNPCL to immediately withdraw its recent provocative and unjustified hikes in prices of Petroleum Products and maintain the pre-May 29, 2023 prices until the end of June 2023.

That in the remaining days of June 2023, President Tinubu should engage very patriotic, incorruptible and experienced professionals in the Upstream and Downstream Sectors of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Sector as well as past and present incorruptible and patriotic Labour Leaders to seek best way to dealing with managing the effect of removal of the Fuel Subsidy and the restoration of Accountability and Transparency in the Sector. Few days from now, we shall present our Idea to Nigerians on how to achieve these objective

“FUEL SUBSIDY IS GONE”. We stand fully with President Tinubu in this.

Our Nigeria shall overcome and must rise again.”

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.