*says on going negotiation with govt won’t work.
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) on Saturday asked labour leaders in the country to immediately withdraw their endorsement of the deregulation policy in the nation’s oil sector as their ongoing negotiations with the government won’t work.
SPN in a statement issued by its Acting National Chairperson, Comrade Abiodun Bamigboye and National Secretary, Chinedu Bosah.
Acting National Chairperson noted that the withdrawn purported petrol price hike “is a dress rehearsal of what is to come”
It emphasized that there is the need for the working masses and the Youth to organise massively to challenge any hike in petrol price.
” This is a warning to the labour leaders who have supported deregulation policy but at the same time in negotiation with the government over appropriate petrol price that such an approach cannot work. Rather, they should withdraw their endorsement of the deregulation policy”, it said.
The party added, “Petrol price has been increased 5 times in the last ten months with its attendant negative effect on cost of living. In the same vein, electricity tariff was increased from N21/KWH to N37/ KWH in September 2020. The rising cost of living is excruciating and thereby further impoverish the poor masses. “.
“It was not surprising that the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced a price hike of petrol from N168 to N212 per litre on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Incessant hike in pump price of petrol has become the stock-in-trade for the Buhari-led government to inflict economy suffering on working masses and the poor. Although, the price hike was later denied by NNPC and the Minister of State for Petroleum on March 12, 2021 after a widespread public outcry. This is nothing to celebrate. The NNPC only stated that there would be no increase in March 2021 but could not guarantee that the retail price would not go up in the future”.
SPN stressed in the statement that “before the announced increase and till this moment, the oil marketers in collaboration with top public officials in the downstream oil sector have created artificial scarcity as a way to force up the price of petrol. In some major cities, long queues have returned to the petrol stations triggering panic buying.”
” Nigeria is the only major oil-producing country without a functional public refinery and thereby imports refined petroleum products while subjecting Nigerians to international pricing. The four public refineries have been rendered non-functional deliberately so that importation of petroleum products will be sustained and guarantee huge profit for oil marketers. Even when Dangote Refinery becomes operational, the price will be high. The current price of cement in the country which is the highest among most Africa countries is a pointer to what awaits the working people once the Dangote refinery commences operation.The current high petrol price and electricity tariff together with the incessant increases is a product of capitalist policies of deregulation and privatization. Capitalism as a system prioritizes the profit of a privileged few at the expense of the vast majority working masses and the poor.”