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5 January 2018

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SPN WARNS THE BUHARI/APC GOVERNMENT AGAINST ANY ATTEMPT TO INCREASE FUEL PRICE

Calls on the labour movement to declare a 24-hour warning strike and mass protest

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) warns against any plan by the Buhari/APC government to increase pump price of petroleum products. Such an attempt must be resisted by the working masses and youth across the country.

The handwriting on the wall is clear for all those who can discern. The statements credited to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu defending the interests of oil marketers and raising the perspective of "modulated" pricing, the efforts of the Senator Kabiru Marafa-led joint committee on Petroleum (Downstream) of the Senate and the House of Representatives to shield relevant questions on the subsidy being paid by the NNPC to keep pump price at N145 while landing cost is N171, the continuous scarcity of fuel across the length and breadth of the country all points to only one direction which is that a grand conspiracy is being prepared, at a politically convenient time, to force on hapless Nigerians another price increase.

We therefore urge the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (NLC) to jointly declare a 24-hour warning strike and mass protest in order to show to the capitalist ruling elite that Nigerians would not accept another price increase. Also such a strike should be used to demand immediate efforts to repair the old refineries and begin the building of new ones. Labour and pro-masses' organizations must also reject the plan to fully deregulate the industry and demand immediate nationalization of the oil and gas industry under the public democratic control and management.

Yes, a general strike can succeed this time unlike the disastrous one called by labour against fuel price hike in May last year. But this will only be possible if the labour bureaucrats drop their failed illusion in the ability of the Buhari capitalist government to deliver and they begin a serious nationwide mobilization for a one-day general strike in alliance with civil society and pro-labour partners through mass rallies, leafleting and media awareness and mobilization activities across the country.

Without the labour movement taking the above-outlined course of actions, then Nigerians can very well wake up one day to see pump price of petroleum products increased to an unaffordable level. This will further impoverish the working masses and the downtrodden as price inflation get worse and also make a mess of the new minimum wage that the labour movement is negotiating with the government and employers.

Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary