The Presidency has said the threat by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embark on an indefinite strike if the petrol pump price was further increased was unnecessary.
Recall that the NLC President, at the African Trade Union Alliance meeting held in Abuja on Monday, threatened to shut down the economy by going on a total strike if there is a hike in the petrol pump price.
He said Nigerians had suffered enough from the policies of the Bola Tinubu government and will not take kindly any pump price hike that would worsen the situation.
Reacting to NLC’s threat on Monday evening, presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale said President Tinubu was working hard to ameliorate the hardship in the country.
He said the President was aware of the pain and economic hardship currently befalling Nigerian families across the country, and efforts are underway to stabilise the economy.
Ngelale asserted that every government action was aimed at the most urgent and the most efficient amelioration of those difficult conditions facing our people.
He said: “There is no monopoly on the deep empathy that we feel as fellow Nigerians concerning the pain and economic hardship currently befalling Nigerian families across the country.
‘’The labour union absolutely does represent the interests of Nigerian workers and our role as a government and particularly is to ensure that every government action was aimed at the most urgent and the most efficient amelioration of those difficult conditions facing our people.
“With respect to energy cost and prices, let us be very clear that the deregulation of the market means that market conditions that are decided outside of the shores of any one country will determine the price of these commodities.
“The notion that the government is controlling or is leveraging in any way the cost of these commodities in the country is a total misunderstanding of the market dynamics in the petroleum sector.
“The President will continue to engage in effective and direct dialogue with the labour unions, and he is committed to living up to every word and every letter of the agreement made so far, and we expect that such agreements are not going to be tied to vagaries of international petroleum market that Nigeria does not have control over.
“What those negotiations and conditions will be based on is to the extent in which government is living up to its side of the ongoing negotiations that it has entered into with the labour movement.
“If the market forces decide the price, it’s Nigerians that are bearing the brunt. Is there any way the government will intervene to cushion the effect so that the exchange rate will not be going up?
“This is why the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been very forthright and open.
“We have seen the President come out publicly several times, very communicative with Nigerians on what’s being done to crash the cost of energy, with respect to families and businesses across the country, which is why we have been very aggressive in detailing the actionable plans we put in place for CNG.”