Details of the meeting between the federal government and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the fuel subsidy removal have emerged after it was reported that it ended in a deadlock.
Necessitated by the need to find a solution to the crisis brought about by the removal of the subsidy, the meeting between both parties was at the instance of the government.
The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, who addressed journalists after the meeting on Wednesday disclosed that no agreement was reached.
“As far as we are concerned there was no consensus”, he said.
Ajaero noted that the principle of negotiation was for the government and the NNPCL to revert to status.
“You don’t ask to negotiate under gunpoint”, he added.
Speaking on the demands of the union, Ajaero said that it was time to go back to negotiating, thinking of alternatives, and how the effects will impact the people.
“We should go back to status quo, negotiate, think of the alternatives and all the effects and how many of the effects this action will have on the people if it is an action that must take off.”
Addressing the claim by the federal government that it lacks the money to continue paying the subsidy, the union leader asked: “What is the purpose of governance? Is it the duty of NLC to raise funds for the government, collect tax, to sell crude at the international market when the price of crude is going high and the government that is a major importer of crude products is telling you there is no money?
“Other countries that are in the same scenario are eating fat.
“Even in the US, there is a subsidy on wheat products.
“Is there any country that does not subsidise the living of people even if it is by providing public transportation? Those are the issues we are looking at.
“If you are a major producer of crude and you refine or carry the crude abroad and refine and bring it, definitely there will be difference in the price and that is what they are paying.
“If your father established a refinery and that refinery dies in your hand and you are now refining abroad, you ask yourself some questions.
“We have refineries in Kaduna, Sapele, Warri and Port Harcourt. Why are they not functioning that we have to go and refine abroad?
“The transportation money, refining cost at international price or rate and bring it back here and the same government pays the difference in cost of what it is here and what is international.
“That is what they are telling you about.”
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