RETHINKING NATIONAL STRIKE TO ADDRESS FUEL PRICE INCREASE AND SUBSIDY IMBROGLIO.
Dear National President,
I write to you on behalf of concerned citizens of Nigeria to urgently address the escalating issue of fuel price increases and the need for effective subsidy reforms in Nigeria in a more constructive manner that is capable of achieving the desired result.
As the President of the NLC, we believe your influential position can help guide the government toward meaningful solutions that will benefit both the citizens and the economy in which a national strike will be the last resort.
It is evident that the recent devaluation of the Naira against the US Dollar, coupled with the deregulation of the foreign exchange market, has resulted in an unavoidable increase in the fuel price per liter. While we acknowledge the impact of market forces on fuel prices, we also recognize the need for strategic interventions to alleviate the burden on the Nigerian people.
In light of these challenges, we respectfully request the NLC to engage with the government and demand the following actions, the failure of which a national strike will be the last option that will be popularly accepted by all Nigerians:
1. Revert to the Direct Sales, Direct Purchase (DSDP) system:
The NLC should urge the government to consider revisiting the former administration’s failed implementation of the “Direct Sales, Direct Purchase (DSDP) batter system. This system eliminates cash payments for refined fuel and instead facilitates the exchange of crude oil for refined products. By adopting this approach, the government can exert greater control over the pricing of fuel and potentially force down the retail price for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
2. Transparent publication of oil subsidy transactions:
The NLC should demand that the government fully disclose and publish all transactions related to oil subsidies. This transparency will help to identify any fraudulent activities and ensure that those responsible for subsidy fraud are held accountable promptly. Bringing subsidy fraudsters to justice will not only restore public trust but also contribute to the overall integrity of the system.
3. Issuance of a clear timeline for refinery revamping:
The NLC should demand the government provide a definitive timeline for the revamping of Nigeria’s ailing refineries. The revamping process should prioritize efficiency, capacity enhancement, and the reduction of operational downtime. Timely completion of these projects will significantly reduce our dependence on imported refined products, ultimately leading to a more stable and affordable fuel market and probably foreign exchange earnings.
I believe that engaging in a national strike without a clear and meaningful goal may not yield the desired outcome. Instead, I recommend a focused approach that emphasizes constructive dialogue and cooperation with the government. By presenting these three conditions as demands, we can provide the government with a framework to address the pressing issues at hand and achieve tangible results for the Nigerian people.
Should the government fail to yield to these three key demands, a call for a national strike will not only be constructive but popularly accepted and supported by all Nigerians.
I trust in your leadership and ability to advocate for the interests of workers and citizens alike. Your efforts toward finding a sustainable solution to the challenges Nigeria currently faces will undoubtedly shape the future of our nation.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I remain hopeful that together we can create positive change and ensure a prosperous future for all Nigerians.
Hon. Femi Ade. Adebisi Jp