Labour leaders, on Sunday, walked out of a meeting with the federal government over the recent hike in the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.
The meeting abruptly ended after the Labour leaders accused the government of insincerity
The Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) had, in a memo dated November 11, 2020, increased the ex-depot price of petrol to N155.15 per litre from N147.67 — the increase took effect on November 13.
Following the increase, the product, at filling stations across the country, now sells between N165 and N170 per litre.
Labour leaders present at the meeting were Najeem Yasin, deputy president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and Quadri Olaleye, president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
Olaleye, who spoke on the recent increase in the pump price of fuel, expressed sadness that discussions were ongoing from the previous meeting before the fresh hike.
“Government is showing a high level of insincerity in discussions with us and is also putting us at risk with the people we are leading — with the masses. We find it difficult to move freely, but the people in government are moving freely,” he said.
Also present at the meeting were Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment; Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour; Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum, and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation.
Meanwhile, the NLC had, in a statement on November 16, expressed concern about the increase and insisted that it is “against the spirit and content of what organised labour agreed with government at the last negotiations over the last fuel price increase”.
On the other hand Mr. Ngige, who spoke after the walkout, said, “We felt that the item of increase in PMS, having been listed at all as an additional item, would have satisfied everybody,” labour minister, Ngige said after the walkout.
The meeting lasted for only about five minutes