In a stern warning, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has advised the Federal Government against heeding the World Bank’s suggestion to increase petrol prices to N750 per litre. The NLC’s Head of Information, Benson Upah, expressed concerns about potential societal unrest should such a price hike be implemented.
Upah, in an interview with Punch, urged the government to reject the World Bank’s proposal, which contradicts the current petrol prices ranging from N620 to N650 per litre.
The World Bank had argued that eliminating fuel subsidies necessitated raising petrol prices to N750 per litre, contending that current prices do not accurately reflect actual costs.
The NLC, in response, criticized the World Bank as a predatory institution that lacks consideration for the welfare of Nigerians. Upah emphasized that the initial increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) had already caused significant challenges in Nigeria.
He stated, “The World Bank is a globalist north in thoughts and actions and has little or no consideration for the global south. It is a predatory institution that the global north uses to justify its crimes against the south.”
Upah continued, “It is almost single-handedly responsible for the ruination of the economies of countries of the global south for which it prescribes one solution for all ailments. It does not care what happens to Nigeria or Nigerians, so it could from its perch in Washington say whatever it likes or push around our leaders like house helps.”
Highlighting the socioeconomic disparities, Upah pointed out the incongruity between the minimum wage in Nigeria, set at N30,000, and the equivalent in the United States, where the enforced minimum wage is N1.5 million.
Concluding the statement, Upah advised the government to disregard the World Bank’s recommendation, emphasizing the importance of combating corruption in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry and reducing the high cost of governance.