16 June 2007

Nigeria: Fuel, Vat Increase - NLC Begins Strike Monday

Owerri — Speculations were rife, yesterday over last minute moves by the organized labour to commence a nationwide strike from Monday next week if the Federal Government failed to listen to the call made by concerned Nigerians over the recent increase in pump price of petrol, Value Added Tax (VAT) and the sale of refineries.

This move was made known in Owerri, yesterday through a press statement issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), restating its stand on the 14-day ultimatum given by the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the NLC in respect of the over 15.4 percent rise of petroleum products.

The document signed by the state chairman and secretary, Comrades Isidore Opara and John Amadi respectively vowed to join the national body in the strike action.

"The congress warns that if the President Umaru Yar'Adua's administration failed to reverse the pump prices of petroleum products, recover the national assets, refineries and monuments unduly sold, as well as implement the 15 per cent increase in salaries as demanded by the NLC, the organized labour in Imo State would have no option than to join the national strike whenever it commences.

"The NLC condemns the hardship imposed on Nigerians by the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo by increasing arbitrarily the pump prices of petroleum products and other items that shape the economic situation of the country.

"The fuel situation in Imo State is somewhat worrisome as most of the filing stations in many parts of the state, including Owerri, the state capital are under lock and key as their owners displayed "no fuel" tag in front of their shops.

"Not only fuel products are sold from upward of N120.00 per litre, most of the consumable goods have all skyrocketed and indigenes of the state are so worried that they can no longer afford their daily needs," the statement stated.

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