Nigerian labor union vows to shut down country over higher fuel prices

Nigerian labor union vows to shut down country over higher fuel prices

Nigerians should expect another hike soon with petrol prices being driven by fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, says spokesperson for industry association

By Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu

KANO, Nigeria (AA) - The Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), the umbrella body for workers in the country, threatened Monday to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike if there is a further increase in the pump price of petrol.

Speaking at a meeting of the African Trade Union Alliance in the capital Abuja, NLC President Joe Ajaero vowed to proceed on a total, comprehensive and indefinite nationwide shutdown of the country.

“Should there be another increase in the petrol pump price from the existing 617 naira (81 US cents) per liter, we will embark on a total shutdown," he said.

Ajaero warned against undermining the demands of the union.

Chinedu Ukadike, the national spokesperson for the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said the price of petrol was currently being driven by fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, so Nigerians should expect another hike soon.

Ukadike said oil marketers were still sourcing US dollars from the parallel market as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s importers and exporters’ official window was not easily converted to cash.

“Once there is a slack in the naira against the dollar, there is going to be an effect. The demand and supply of forex is a key factor. We should also understand that it is not only petroleum products that use forex.

“Other manufacturers who import one thing or the other are also searching for dollars. So the surge (in demand) for dollars has continued to increase. So now that the dollar is hitting N910 to N940 and approaching N1,000, you should expect to buy PMS (Premium Motor Spirit, or petrol) at the rate of N750/liter.”


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