Despite the sudden hike in the price of petrol, leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and others have kept sealed lips over the development, setting tongues wagging as to what informed the labour leaders’ silence.
The Federal Government on Friday morning, announced a hike in the price of petrol, bringing it to N170 per litre from around N152 per litre the day before.
Barely a month ago, the labour leaders and the Federal Government signed an agreement on the issue of fuel price increase and hike in electricity tariff.
But one of the respected voices and former president of the NLC, Hassan Sunmonu, in his response, described the increase as ill-timed and chided the Federal Government for being unfair to Nigerians.
Sunmonu said the latest increase is uncalled for “at this very critical time,” especially with the difficulties Nigerians are currently going through.
“They can’t just wake up one night and decide that this thing should happen. It is very unfair to the Nigerian people and should not be. I am positively against it and I think it is ill-timed and uncalled for at this particular time with the difficulties the Nigerians are going through at the current time.
“So, if their economists say it is correct, then politically and socially, the timing is wrong,” he said. On his advice to the current labour leaders and how to go about this while many Nigerians are blaming labour for not leading workers and Nigerians to resist the increase, Sunmonu said, “I will only confine myself to my own opinion.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians have expected labour to lead the struggle in form of protest and strike to resist the incessant increases in fuel price, irrespective of negotiation and agreement reached with the government.
Some sections of the public have criticised labour for not embarking on a nationwide protest to force the reversal of fuel price increase, while labour has consistently put the interest of its members first.
Several calls made to the core labour leaders between Friday and Saturday were not answered, while text messages were not replied.