The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has warned the Federal Government against any further increase in the price of petroleum products .
The President of NUPENG, Mr . Achese Igwe, said that the increase in the pump price of fuel could not be the solution to the biting economic situation in the country .
Igwe made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise daily programme monitored by our correspondent on Monday .
He stressed that the claim that the Federal Government was owing the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria was no reason to consider any increase in the pump price of petroleum products .
When asked about the amount owed DAPMAN , he said “That shouldn ’t be a basis for talking about increases in the price òf petroleum products . If marketers are being owed by government, I believe they have a right to ask for their debt , I believe Government also has a responsibility to pay part of their debt.
“NARTO ( The Nigerian association of road transport owners ) is also complaining that they have filed transportation claims , they are yet to be paid by marketers , that is also happening.
“My concern here is, must we continue to talk about fuel increase, the economic situation we find ourselves today as worker is frightening in the sense that life is very hard , thing are hard economically.
“Yet somebody works up to somebody and say that the only option you can apply is to talk about increase in fuel price, because you think for you to make profit out of the whole margin is to make sure fuel price is increased.
“The answer to us is no . We won ’ t accept that . No Nigerian won ’ t want to accept fuel increase , and as such Nigerians workers are watching with very keen interest . ”
Igwe said that it was the position of NUPENG that Nigeria which was blessed with huge natural resources should discontinue the importation of petroleum products .
He said that the issue of how to get the refineries to function at optimal capacity had not featured in meetings held on the sector .
He said that Nigerians had huge expectations from the promises of the government that the refineries would work; that there would be improvement in the energy sector and several others.
“It beats our imagination as a Union that a country that is blessed with such huge natural resources , will continue to depend on the importation of petroleum products . In all our discussions, nobody has talked about how our refineries will be operating optimally, and to stop this incessant crisis of talking about the importation of petroleum products or talking about increase in fuel price. And it is very worrisome.
“As Nigerians we have very huge expectations, in terms of what the government was talking about . Refineries would work , this would work, that will work , the energy sector would improve , and the rest of them but today , that has not happened,” he added
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