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NUJ joins NLC in nationwide protest against fuel subsidy removal


NUJ joins NLC in nationwide protest against fuel subsidy removal

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has announced plans to carry out a nationwide protest and strike starting on June 7 if the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) does not reverse the new price regime in the oil sector.

This decision came after President Bola Tinubu declared during his inaugural address on Monday that the petroleum subsidy regime would no longer be sustainable.

In response to the President’s announcement, the NNPCL directed its outlets across the country to sell fuel at a price range of N480 to N570 per litre, marking a significant increase of almost 200 percent from the previous price of below N200.

Reacting to this development, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also announced plans to stage a nationwide protest if the NNPCL refuses to revert to the previous price regime.

The NUJ issued a statement on Saturday, with its National Secretary, Shuaibu Leman, highlighting their intention to protest.

READ ALSO: Nationwide strike looms as NLC demands reversal of fuel price hike

The statement mentioned that an emergency central working committee meeting was held online, where the union members unanimously adopted the NLC’s position.

The NUJ reiterated concerns that the sudden removal of fuel subsidy could lead to social unrest and protests, as people may perceive the government as being insensitive to their plight.

The high inflation and astronomical increase in petroleum product prices have already significantly reduced the purchasing power of citizens, further adding to their grievances.

Consequently, the NUJ directed all State Councils of the Union to mobilize their members to withdraw their services and commence nationwide protests starting from Wednesday, June 7, 2023, if the NNPCL does not reverse the new price regime in the oil sector.

It is worth noting that Nigeria spent over N4 trillion on petrol subsidy last year, exceeding expenditures in healthcare and education.

Many experts argue that such a level of spending is unsustainable. This year, the previous government under Muhammadu Buhari only allocated budget funds for petrol subsidy until June 30, leaving the final decision on the matter to the incoming administration.

However, the three leading presidential candidates in the February 25 presidential election, namely Mr. Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi, all promised to remove the petrol subsidy if elected.

Opponents of the removal, including the NLC, argue that it would result in increased prices of goods and services, further exacerbating the poverty levels of millions of citizens in the country.

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