The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has issued a warning, stating that it will initiate a nationwide shutdown in response to growing concerns about a potential increase in the cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly referred to as petrol.
Trade Union Congress (TUC) has also aligned itself with the NLC’s stance if such a price hike is implemented, reports suggest.
Joe Ajaero, the NLC President, conveyed this stance during a meeting held in Abuja, describing the possible increase due to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates as “illegal.”
Chinedu Ukadike, the national public relations officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), responding to questions regarding the potential petrol price increase, pointed out that the cost of petrol is now linked to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.
He said that “the demand and supply of foreign exchange significantly influence the price of petroleum products and that the escalation in the value of the US dollar relative to the Nigerian naira could lead to an eventual price of around N750 per liter.”
Ukadike went on to explain that multiple factors contribute to the need for an adjustment in petrol prices. “The fluctuating value of the naira in relation to the dollar, as well as the increasing demand for foreign exchange by various sectors, including other manufacturers importing goods, all play a role in determining the price of petrol,” he said.
Further, he disclosed that oil marketers are currently sourcing foreign exchange from the parallel market, as converting funds through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s official window for Importers and Exporters is not straightforward.
“However, the NLC remains resolute in its stance against any potential increase in petrol prices,” Ajaero said on Monday, during an African Trade Union alliance meeting in Abuja, that the NLC is prepared to execute a comprehensive and indefinite nationwide shutdown if petrol prices are raised beyond the existing N617.