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Breaking: NLC rejects increase in Fuel price and demands immediate reversal

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has rejected the recent increase in the pump price of petrol across the country.

Recall that last Friday, November 13, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, increased the ex-depot price of petrol from N147.67 per litre to N155.17. Following the announcement, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria said the implication was that the pump price of petrol would range from N168 to N170 per litre. Thie new price regime took effect last Friday.

In a statement released today November 16, the NLC president, Ayuba Wabba, condemned the increase saying the price increase will definitely increase the current level of pain and anguish in the country.

Wabba hinted that the congress would receive an update from its affiliates who were members of various committees set up after the last round of negotiations with the Federal Government and that the outcome of its engagement with the unions will determine the next line of actions to be taken by Labour concerning the new petrol pump price.

Here’s the statement:

“There is no doubt that there is great disquiet in the land over the extraordinary level of inflation in the country. The recent increase in the pump price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) has only exacerbated the current level of pain and anguish in the country. The recent increase in the pump price of PMS is clearly against the spirit and content of what organized labour agreed with government at the last negotiations over the last fuel price increase.

It has also cast in very bad light our utmost good faith with regards to government explanations that it lacks funds to continue bankrolling the so-called subsidy payments as such would sooner than later cripple the entire economy, throw the country into severe economic crisis and cause loss of jobs in millions.

While we await the full recovery of our refineries as contained in our agreement with the government, Nigerians cannot be made to bleed endlessly for the failures of successive government to properly manage our refineries, ensure value for money for the numerous Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) which were poorly and barely executed and the horrifying lack of interest in prosecuting public officials and private business people who have profited from the rot in our petroleum sector and the collective misery they have imposed on the general population.

“The truth is that we would not have been in this precarious situation if the government had been alive to its responsibilities. There is a limit to what the citizens can tolerate if this abysmal increases in the price of refined petroleum products and other essential goods and services continue. While we fix our refineries, there are a number of options open to the government to stem the tide of high prices of refined petroleum products.

“One is for the government to declare a state of emergency in our downstream petroleum sector. As a follow up to this, the government should enter into contract refining with refineries closer home to Nigeria. This will ensure that the cost of supplying crude oil is negotiated away from the prevailing international market rate so that the landing cost of refined petroleum products is significantly reduced.

“Government should also demonstrate the will to stamp out the smuggling of petroleum products out of Nigeria. We need to see big-time petroleum smugglers arraigned in the court of law and made to pay for their crimes against the Nigerian people. Government has the resources available to it to ensure this economic justice to Nigerians.

“The question in the minds of many Nigerians is if the government is willing to go headlong against major financiers of the major political parties known to the public as the architects of the current national woe.

“We also demand that Nigerians should be carried along on the distribution of refined petroleum products. Information on the distribution of petroleum products to petrol stations should be advertised and made public knowledge.

“It should not be difficult to establish the average time it takes a petrol station to exhaust its supplies. There is already an established market trend which will help the government fix the rot in Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sector.

“Second, we call on the government to review the entire process of licensing for modular and bigger refineries. It is queer to depend on the enterprise of one man to fix Nigeria’s downstream petroleum subsector. The more public and private refineries in play the higher the competition. This would serve end consumers who would benefit from lower prices. Organized Labour will not accept a fait accompli of the monopoly of Nigeria’s downstream petroleum sector or the emergence of a cartel of Oligarchs whose end game is mass pauperization.

“Third, in line with our recent agreement with the government, we will be receiving updates in the next few days from our unions in the petroleum sector which have been given the mandate to keep surveillance on a government promise to overhaul our public refineries. We will also receive updates from our representatives in the electricity review committee. The updates we receive will determine whether the government has kept to its side of the bargain which is to take serious steps to recover and reposition our public refineries.” 

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Boko Haram Releases Bride Abducted In Borno

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The bride, who was abducted along Maiduguri/Damaturu Highway, on Thursday, has been released.

She was kidnapped alongside her friends and some persons who were plying that route when the insurgents struck.

It gathered that the insurgents dropped the victims off at a village near Damaturu, Yobe State capital, around midnight.

It is not known yet if any ransom was paid.

Babagana Kashim, a family member of the victim, said that the bride and her friends are currently being treated at an undisclosed hospital in Damaturu.

Also Read: Bandits Return To Kagara, Shot Four Dead

“It is confirmed that they have been released. The insurgents dropped them off at a village close to Damaturu.

“As we speak, they are currently receiving medical attention in an undisclosed hospital in Damaturu. We are happy they are finally back home.” Babagana said.

The wedding held successfully in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, but the victims were kidnapped on their way to Damturu.

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Freed Kagara Victims Now In Minna

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The kidnapped students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger, have arrived in Minna, the State capital.

A total of 27 students, three staff and 12 members of their family were abducted in the attack on the school.

In a video, the students were seen filing out from the bush. The footage was said to have been shot around Attahiru Secondary School, Madaka, Niger State.

Also Read: Bandits Return To Kagara, Shot Four Dead

Jibrin Usman, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education in Niger, said the commissioner has been contacted to receive the boys ahead of their meeting with the governor.

One of the parents of the students told our correspondent that they were released near Madaka in Raffi Local government area of Niger.

The father said he would withdraw his child from the school immediately, describing that as the only reasonable thing to do as a concerned father.

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Kidnapped Adamawa United FC Driver Released

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The kidnapped Adamawa United Football Club driver, Kabiru Muhammad has been released.

The driver conveying the team to Lagos for the NPFL week 11 match against MFM was forcefully taken away on Friday, February 19 by gun men who robbed Adamawa United players of their belongings along Benin-Ore Express way.

The kidnappers immediately reached out to the club’s officials demanding for N50 million ransom which they eventually reduced to N1 million after negotiations.

The permanent secretary, Adamawa State Ministry of Sports, Aliyu Abubakar Jada made known the development in Yola, saying Kabiru was released Wednesday night in Benin.

Also Read: Sex hawker caught, plan to sell her baby for 40k

Jada said even as the freed driver was in good condition of health, he would go through medical examination due to the stress he was subjected to in the hands of his captors.

He thanked the media for the role they played in making the public aware about the unfortunate incident.

“I want to thank the media, particularly SWAN. I have received calls from within and outside the country from people who read the news, we are very grateful”, he said.

Jada, therefore, tasked the Federal Ministry of Sports and the Nigeria Football Federation to devise new ways to improve safety of players and reduce the stress they are subjected to when travelling for matches.

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