By Ononye VC
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) says the recently launched Dangote Petrol Refinery may not take complete care of the needs of Nigerians and may not bring down prices of petroleum products in the country.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday amid the fuel subsidy removal controversy, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, said the Dangote Refinery is commendable but it might not be the answer to the issues confronting the petroleum sector.
Ajaero said, “First, I commend Dangote Refinery but the provision of having dictatorship of the market especially in the private sector is dangerous. Now that is what we are experiencing in the area of cement production. What is Dangote Refinery going to produce? Will it be enough?
“He has done enough to build a refinery. If three or four companies like that are refining then you are talking of competition.
“So, I think while we commend Dangote as a good Nigerian, we are talking about competition, we are talking of deregulation. So Dangote has done well, but can Dangote take care of 30% of the needs of Nigerians?” Ajaero queried.
President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech on Monday, said fuel subsidy has ended. His pronouncement caused panic in the sector resulting in an instant scarcity of petroleum products across the country.
However, Ajaero said the position of Labour has been clear on the issue that even if Tinubu has a good intention, alternatives must be provided.
He said the President should have asked questions and find out the implications of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians on the streets.
The NLC boss listed the alternatives to include the repair of the nation’s four refineries, provision of transportation of alternatives for the Nigerian workers, among others.
“The pronouncement by Mr President is as good as law and if in the process we make a law that is not practicable, the same people that made the law can look at it,” Ajaero said while calling for a review of the President’s pronouncement.
“Does it bring pleasure to us to say subsidy is gone and people start suffering? Is it not part of leadership for us to look at how the suffering of the people can be reduced?” he asked.