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Fuel subsidy removal: FG not sincere on new timeline -union

The People’s Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) has accused the Federal Government of insincerity over its new policy on retaining the controversial fuel subsidy beyond June…

The People’s Alternative Political Movement (TPAP-M) has accused the Federal Government of insincerity over its new policy on retaining the controversial fuel subsidy beyond June this year.

The movement on Tuesday in a statement by the secretariat officers, Prof. Omotoye Olorode and Comrade Jaye Gaskia, said the government’s new stance shows that it was not sincere as it had to scramble after realizing that there may be mass revolt led by the organized labor unions.

Daily Trust reports that the federal government on Monday backtracked on the planned total subsidy withdrawal effective June.

This was after much pressure with just three days to the planned protest by the organized labor on the proposed petrol subsidy removal four months ahead of the dateline.

“After failing to cajole and or intimidate us to accept their unpopular and anti-people policies, they have now suddenly woken up from their self-induced slumber, and have now announced, in very public, and inchoate manner that they have no plans at all to remove so-called fuel subsidy and hike fuel prices this year!

“We urge the Nigerian people to justifiably claim this hasty and inchoate retreat on the part of government as a victory for a people united in resistance. Nevertheless, we urge continued vigilance and urge that we continue to pile on our pressure, as this is just a partial victory.

“What the government has done is to indicate its decision to postpone the question of fuel price hike for another year or so. And while this concession is a result of our determined rejection of the policy and demonstrated determination to resist all hardships, it nevertheless fails to address the issues responsible for the fuel crisis,” the organization said.

The statement said that they have demanded definitive response as to when as a nation the country shall have acquired adequate public sector led domestic refining capacity; demanded definitive response with respect to accountability for the $9.5bn expended on refineries that have remained moribund; and also demanded definitive response as to investigating, indicting, prosecuting and punishing those responsible, including political office holders and managements of NNPC and the refineries, for this unprecedented scale of organized economic crime and sabotage of the national economy.

They said, “The government has remained silent on these issues. Until we have definitive responses to these issues, even the question of resting the fuel component of the energy crisis, and resolving the fuel price hike conundrum, would not have been adequately, and more or less permanently addressed.

“We urge the Nigerians, to insist that the leadership of the trade unions and the trade union federations, remain committed to the programs of mass mobilization that have been publicly announced, as part of our continuing collective efforts to sustain our struggle and resistance, until we have the definitive responses that we have demanded for, until total victory.”