By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has condemned the proposed call For mass action and strikes by the Labour Unions against the recent deregulation policy of the federal government.
The youth body warned that it will amount to misleading unsuspecting Nigerians instead of be in the forefront of advancing a Socio-economic paradigm shift for the country.
Addressing newsmen Thursday in Abuja, NYCN national president Comrade Solomon Adodo, described Labour unions’ action as a show of inconsistency and lack of understanding of the implication of converging economic issues.
“The order by the NLC and TUC for the Federal Government to revise the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and revert to the Old subsidy regime is not only out of sync with the pricing realities of the product under discussion, but also falls below par in our current economic logic.
“Truth is that when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Mr. Mele Kyari announced that subsidy was gone forever, NLC and TUC were probably on COVID-19 Lockdown, but certainly not asleep or dead.
“Therefore, as far as the issue of Petroleum Products Pricing is concerned, NLC and TUC are aware that subsidy was withdrawn months ago. Though there was COVID-19 Lockdown, the two (2) Trade Unions did not hold Press Conferences or threaten post lockdown industrial action.
“So, it is surprising and hypocritical that they are now trying to blackmail the federal government and advance unfounded arguments. This gives clear credence to the fact that the Labour Unions have been seriously compromised to score political points.”
According to NYCN President, the argument of Nigeria returning to the subsidy regimes is unsustainable and cannot sail through.
“Nigeria cannot afford to hold itself down by trying options that do not and can never work. And the Trade Unions should not be the ones pushing Nigeria to her continued economic doom,” Adodo said.
While passing a bite of confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, Adodo said: “The National Youth Council of Nigeria supports the total deregulation of the petroleum industry because that is where there is hope for the youth.
“There is no economic sense in spending less 3 trillion Naira annually on capital projects, while spending about 1.5 trillion Naira on Petroleum subsidy. Remember that while we budget below 4 trillion Naira for capital projects, actuals releases have been less than 3 trillion Naira.
“Our continued deficit balance of trade needs to be improved upon, we lose almost all the gains of crude oil export by massive importation of refined products. We will not recover from this deficit till deregulation attracts massive investments in the oil sector.
“The pressure on Foreign Exchange because of refined products importation will keep the Naira struggling against foreign currencies (particularly the United States Dollar).
“The deregulation of the Petroleum Sector will go a great extent in correcting this as refineries are now being built locally. Most importantly, the youths are denied jobs that will inevitably come with deregulation.
“The monies spent on importation and subsidy payment will be channeled to other internal economic activities. Obviously, the Federal Government cannot even afford this subsidy in the face of other competing issues demanding government’s attention.”