touchaheart Nigeria reports that the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy has the conditional backing of both the Trade Union Congress and the Nigeria Labour Congress.
The two labor organizations declared that they would only permit the elimination of gasoline subsidies if Bola Tinubu’s future administration took steps to repair and revitalize government refineries all throughout the nation and permitted modular refineries.
Without doing so, they threatened to fight the loss of the subsidies and organize workers to demonstrate against the choice.
Major General Muhammadu Buhari’s (ret.) administration had promised to withdraw the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, or gasoline, before the end of its term on May 29, 2023.
The withdrawal of the subsidies was postponed due to the upcoming general election in 2023 and the anticipated population count, according to Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
Clement Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, stated that no decision had been made regarding how to mitigate the anticipated effects of the proposed removal of the gasoline subsidy on the populace during the Federal Executive Council meeting on March 15.
Even though a committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been meeting for almost a year, according to him, nothing concrete had been decided upon.
The government would turn over the execution of the elimination of the gasoline subsidy and palliative measures to the incoming administration, according to Chris Ngige, the minister of labor and employment, who was speaking on Channels Television on Tuesday.
However, the NLC and the TUC pointed out that the elimination of the subsidy would only be accepted on a conditional basis.
Hakeem Ambali, one of the NLC’s top officials and president of the National Union of Local Government Employees, stated that the union was still against eliminating the fuel subsidy.
In an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, Ambali, the NLC’s national treasurer, made this claim.
We oppose the elimination of fuel subsidies until the Nigerian government acts appropriately by repairing our malfunctioning refineries, the man said.
It is unfortunate that Nigerians are made to suffer due to the government’s inefficiency, Ambali added in his plea for the standardization of private refineries. The government should issue licenses and act as a regulator by standardizing the functioning of private refineries to support the domestic value chain since we are the only oil-producing nation in the world that imports petroleum products.
National Union of Teachers President Titus Amba stated that the organization will support the NLC’s decision to end fuel subsidies.
“The NLC and I are collaborating. The NLC’s view on the subject of fuel subsidies is our own position, the speaker said.
In support of the NLC’s stance, the TUC recommended the president-elect to ensure the efficient operation of modular refineries around the nation while pointing out that gasoline subsidies were a fraud.
Tommy Etim, the vice president of the TUC and national president of the Nigerian Association of Senior Public Servants, outlined why Nigeria required effective modular refineries.
Etim recommended Tinubu’s new administration to start the process.
The subsidy structure, he declared, is a fraud. I don’t think there’s any subsidy left to take away. Which subsidy are they referring to again when we wake up to increased fuel prices and levies every day? When we hear about the loss of any subsidy, I believe we have moved past the point where we are astonished or moved. Our advise to the new administration is to avoid hiding behind any subsidies. It was implied to us that there was a subsidy. Working refineries are the current solution.
“The money used to pay the’subsidy’ should be spent to fix our broken refineries. We have been held in servitude. Subsidy doesn’t offer anything else that excites us. After the refineries are repaired, the funds that were utilized to support the alleged subsidy should be used to support other crucial industries. Many problems need to be resolved, for example, in the educational field. A reassessment of the minimum wage is also necessary.
“Therefore, when we say we don’t think the subsidy is still in place, we’re telling you what we think,” they continued. Let’s all go on after fixing the refineries.
The 2022/2023 deep offshore oil bloc mini-bid round procedure will now run until July after the President authorized a change to the bid round timetable.
The Federal Government declared on January 16, 2023, that the licensing round for the seven deep offshore open oil blocs, which started on January 3, will run four months.
However, the Chairman of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Gbenga Komolafe, said in a statement on Saturday that the President has allowed a date extension in an effort to increase public trust in the openness and continuity of the process.
He said that the license was given in order to allay the worries that local and foreign investors had raised over how near the schedule was to the end of the Buhari administration.
“Following the approval of President Buhari in his capacity as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the NUPRC has revised the deep offshore oil bloc bid round schedule by extending the deadline for the submission of technical/commercial bids to May 19, 2023, as well as the timeline for concluding activities of contract negotiations and signing between July 3 and 28, 2023,” Komolafe said.
He said that the mini-bid round was moving forward according to the bid round schedule, which was included in the bid round rules.
The technical/commercial proposal submission and the ministerial approval/contract negotiation and signing are the last remaining steps until the exercise is over, according to Komolafe.
He asserted that the commission was completely dedicated to executing the bid round in a way that would ensure the accomplishment of the goals, noting that participation was both vigorous and advantageous to important stakeholders.
“But, continual questioning and inspection of the procedure revealed two concerns, which the commission felt would affect the outcome of the exercise if not immediately addressed,” the NUPRC boss continued.
“The plans to finish the bid process before the changeover to the new government and the requirement to ensure participation of qualified indigenous companies, working cooperatively with multinationals and the international oil companies to leverage technology, funding, and expertise in the deep offshore, are the main sources of concern.
“The commission has already made public the demand for joint venture agreements between IOCs and domestic businesses and correspondingly modified the guidelines.”
In addition to addressing the second worry, he claimed that the action supported and was in line with the bid round’s requirements for Nigerian content.
Komolafe pointed out that it was also in line with Clause 16(1)(a) of the Constitution, which stated that national resources must be used to advance an effective, dynamic, and self-sustaining economy.
“The extension of time is also to afford interested multinationals and IOCs enough time to enter into, conclude, and the necessary joint venture arrangements,” he said. “It is also to allow for proper evaluation of relevant data by all bidders.”
In the mini-bid round, there are seven offshore blocs with a combined size of about 6,700 km2 and ocean depths ranging from 1,150 to 3,100 m.