Fuel Price Crisis: Ngige issues ‘open-ended’ statement, not foreclosing increment

Labour and Employment Minister, Dr. Chris Ngige is saying the Federal Government has assured Nigerians that there is currently no increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit.

A statement on Friday by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said “there will be no increase in the price of PMS for now as discussions are still ongoing between government and the organised labour as well as other stakeholders on the matter.”

Going by the statement, the government is at the same time not foreclosing an increment. Ngige noted, “I have made contact with the relevant authorities, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC and wish to assure members of the public, especially the organised labour and workers that there is no such increase for now.”

“We have an ongoing discussions and standing committees comprising labour and government on one hand and another, comprising the office of the Vice President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Group Managing Director of the NNPC and the Ministers of Labour, Petroleum and Finance.”

He explained that these two discussions are ongoing concurrently and that the next meeting between the Federal Government and the organised labour will hold immediately after the Easter break.

According to Ngige, “The present attempt to hoist a fait accompli on the government and all its efforts runs against the ongoing discussions. We hence wish to warn the insidious harbingers of such information not to portray government as cruel, irresponsible and unamenable to social dialogue and collective bargaining.”

The statement signed by the labour ministry spokesman, Charles Akpan, further quoted the minister as saying that the government will at the right time fix an appropriate pricing for petroluem products.

Ngige said, “Government will at the right time do an appropriate pricing for petroleum products but not without taking other issues into consideration. This is to ensure that Nigerians don’t suffer the pangs of any price increase in petroleum products.

“Government has deregulated petroleum products and market forces have to dictate pricing. That notwithstanding, government has decided to give it a human face by agreeing to some palliative measures that will make the price realistic and affordable to the ordinary Nigerians.

“We therefore wish to re-assure our partners in the organised labour, the NLC, TUC and affiliate unions that there will be no increase in the price of PMS for now. They should therefore continue to cooperate with government side to have a fruitful outcome from the discussions.”

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