Ayuba Wabba, president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says the government didn’t think about economic realities when it said the petrol price in Nigeria is among the least in Africa.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said on Monday that despite the rise within the price of petrol, it remains among the most cost-effective in Africa.
Speaking to the PUNCH, Wabba said the government should have situated its argument against the devaluation of the naira and taken into consideration the N33,000 minimum wage being paid to workers.
Wabba said the comparison is faulty as long as the electricity tariff was also reviewed upwards and the costs of commodities generally are on the increase.
“That comparison cannot even stand because our currency has been on free fall and it has been devalued over and over again. So, the basis for comparison is faulty. If they (other countries) have stronger currencies, it means our currency is weak,” Wabba said.
“Not only petroleum products but all other commodities are also expensive in Nigeria because of the free fall of the naira. Can they also make the comparison on the basis of the stability of the currencies of other countries over the years and the instability of the Nigerian currency over the last five years? You can then get the answer.
He said it is insensitive of the government to increase the price of petrol and electricity at the same time, adding that Nigerians have been pushed to the edge.
“The point we have made is that many Nigerians have been pushed to the edge and it is insensitive to increase the prices of the two commodities at the same time-petroleum products and the electricity. You can see the impact already in the prices of bread which have increased from N250 to N300,” he said.