President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to hold a ‘crucial’ meeting on Thursday with governors of the 36 states of the Federation, to address the contentious issue of petroleum pricing.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this after a bipartite meeting of the Federal government and the Organised Labour at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister told journalists that Organised Labour had investigated the report of the Technical Committee on Premium Motor Spirit Pricing (petrol) Framework as agreed and made their submissions alongside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Ngige said the government does not have the resources to bear the burden of fuel subsidy following the deregulation of the sector.
The minister said: “The labour side saw that they were making some points and like I said, it is work in progress. Governors are going to discuss this on Thursday.
“They have discussed this at the National Economic Council and so, everybody is involved because we find ourselves in dire straits. There is no money for subsidy.
“The NNPC has explained: What they are doing is import- dependent. Deregulation is import-dependent but they are doing bulk purchasing. So, they can get discounts.
“They are also using foreign exchange that is discounted for them. They are not buying from the parallel market. So, all these things will be put in basket and a price will emerge from it.”
Ngige said the Federal government has concluded discussions with the organised labour on the fuel pricing.
President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, urged the NNPC to do “everything possible to make sure the current template serves Nigerians instead of the market forces.”
He noted that the welfare of Nigerians should be the centre point of every government policy.
The NLC president called on government to find a way of “protecting and insulating Nigerians from the vagaries of market forces