The Trade Union Congress on Thursday expressed disappointment at theÂ Federal Governmentâ€™s removal of subsidy on petrol, saying that they are â€œtotally confounded and shockedâ€ at the premeditated â€œambushâ€ by the Federal Government.
The TUC said this in a statement by itsÂ President, Bobboi Kaigama, and General Secretary, Simeso Amachree.
This coming after the Nigerian Labour Congress vowed to resist the increase â€œwith every means legitimateâ€.
According to the statement, the TUC said that the organised labour received a 24-hour notice for a meeting with the Vice-presidentÂ and some other key government functionaries including the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Minister of Information, the Chairman of the Governorâ€™s Forum, and the Minister of State for Petroleum. Others include the principal officers of the National Assembly led by the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chairmen of the respective Committees on Petroleum in both chambers of the Assembly.
It said that the call for the meeting stated no specific agenda, and they neverÂ â€œthat the government had already concluded plans to hike the price of petrolâ€.
The TUC said that although the leadership of the labour were in attendance, they never made any input. They said that when the Federal Government stated the plans to introduce the new prices, they responded by asking for time to consult with the respective executive organs andÂ subsequently revert appropriately which the government agreed to.
According to the statement, The TUC has scheduledÂ an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) for Friday, May 13th, 2016 to x-ray the governmentâ€™s pronouncement and take a stand on the matter in the best interest of Nigerian workers and Nigerians in general.
â€œTo say Nigerians are disappointed and dismayed at the fuel price hike would be a colossal understatement, especially as the present APC government repeatedly insisted during their pre-2015 election campaigns that there was already nothing like subsidy during the immediate past administration. Alas, what a great volte face! What betrayal in high places!
For sure we know that the fuel scarcity the nation is currently experiencing is artificial, and we have observed comments of those benefiting from the system commending the latest development. For us, the fact that petrol is currently selling for between N150 and N250 per litre does not mean that such outlandish prices should be maintained, least of all endorsed as official policy.
We are meeting soon and will come out with our position. God bless Nigeria and her people,â€Â It said.