University Students, youths disagree over fuel price hike

May 18, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ News About Education,NEWS and Gossip

• Forum of NGOs, women group vow to resist strike

From Paul Osuyi, Asaba and Magnus Eze, Abuja

DIVERGENT views have continued to trail the recent removal of subsidy on petrol and the subsequent increase in the price of the product from N86.50 to N145.00 per liter by the Federal Government.
While students of tertiary institutions in the South-South and South-East zones said they would join forces with the organized labour in protest against the increase, a youth group, Niger Delta Youths Organisation For Sustainable Development (NDYOSD) said the planned protest would have grave consequences on the masses.
President of NDYOSD, Comrade Dogubo Mologe, chastised organised labour for doing nothing when Nigerians recently bought petrol for over N200.00 per liter at the height of scarcity.
He said he was disappointed when the leadership of organised labour did not mobilise against the selfish independent marketers who were exploiting Nigerians during scarcity, insisting that at N145.00 per liter, Nigeria remains one of the few African countries selling fuel at cheap rates.
But students, under the aegis of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Zone B, said the increase in pump price by the government was meant to impoverish Nigerians and have vowed to shut down government parastatals if the price was not reverted to N86.50. Coordinator of the zone, comprising tertiary institutions in the South-South and South-East, Pedro Chibuzo, in a statement, added that students will join the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other civil society organisation.
Meanwhile, a forum of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), yesterday, vowed to mobilise against the strike called by organised labour to protest the recent increase in the price of petrol.
The group, made up of over 30 NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) from different parts of the country, in a press conference in Abuja, decried the activities of those they described as cabals in the downstream sector, who had, directly or indirectly, instigated Nigerians against successive governments from removing the subsidy regime because of their selfish interest.
National Chairman of the forum, Comrade Wole Badmus, said: “NLC should be more concerned about the obnoxious treatment of Nigerian workers by Indian and Lebanese firms; the anti-workplace practices against pregnant women in private companies and, most painfully, the casualisation of workers in banks and other multi-national companies”.
In a related development, women’s group, Green Women for Change (GWC), has described government’s action as a “necessary pain and there cannot be a better time to do this than now.”
ather than subjecting Nigerians to more pains and hardships through strike, the group urged labour to monitor the implementation of palliatives of government and ensure the success.
The forum had, on Monday, paid a fact-finding visit to the Minister of Information and Culture, to be availed of relevant information on subsidy.
In a related development, women’s group, Green Women for Change (GWC), has described government’s action as a “necessary pain and there cannot be a better time to do this than now.”
Executive Director of GWC, Dr Chinwe Ezejiofor, in a statement, commended the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the organised private sector, under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), for supporting subsidy removal and dissociating themselves from the planned strike action by NLC and TUC.
It said a strike would be futile and further hurt the economy and the masses of Nigeria.