The Nigerian Trade Union Congress (TUC) has faulted the move by lawmakers to limit fuel imports to few operators in the oil and gas industry in the country.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) describes the move as monopolistic, targeted at frustrating the gains of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The union, therefore, opines that the market be left open, if government is sincere in addressing the challenges in the sector.
The union said it is a conspiracy to waste another opportunity to fix the sector, noting that from the lawmakers’ position, one could infer they are serving the interest of few individuals to the detriment of the over 97 per cent of the country’s population but that the Union would not allow that to happen.
The TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye and Secretary-General, Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi, in a statement made available to newsmen, said the country could not afford to continue toying with the oil and gas sector as it is the only major source of foreign exchange.
The two leaders advised the lawmakers to put the interest of the nation at heart and stop serving the interest of few capitalists.
They said: “It is high time these principalities and powers removed their knees from the neck of Nigeria and Nigerians.
“The congress is not against the companies holding refining licences; we are only saying the sector should be left open so the destiny of the country will not be in the hands of a few individuals.
“The pertinent questions are: how well are the products and markets controlled by these same few people doing? Why are the lawmakers failing to see the large number of companies and employment that could be created when more investors are allowed to invest?Are these people (lawmakers) not disturbed by the unprecedented insecurity challenge in the country caused by unemployment? How long are these people going to continue to exploit the country?
“There is no sugarcoating the matter, the capitalist trajectory in Nigeria is morally, economically, and legally wrong as it tends to impoverish Nigeria and Nigerians. It hinders the country’s financial and economic progress because it transfers a huge chunk of public wealth to “favoured businessmen”.
“This is not only treacherous but also a serious form of corruption. We urge them to use their money for the social benefits of all; after all, they enjoy forex largesse financed by Nigerians’hard earned oil revenue.
“We are calling on the government, especially the legislative arm, to rescind their decision immediately as it would only worsen the problem it is meant to solve.
“Nigerians are going through a very difficult period, and no bill against protest can stop us from opposing undemocratic and dictatorial laws and policies of government.’’