The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said it supported the petrol price increase because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s sincerity towards infrastructure development and oil and gas policies.
The Chairman of the union in South-West, Tokunbo Korodo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday that his union and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) endorsed the price hike.
He said that although the Federal Government consulted the unions on its contemplation on the price increase, they had not taken the message to their members before the announcement was made.
Mr. Korodo, however, said, ‘’it was a big shock but as shocking as it was, we cannot throw away the baby with the bath water’’.
He said the country was at the verge of economic stagnation, and that the only way to move the economy forward was to support the government’s move.
“We met and x-rayed the problem confronting the oil industry at large.
“We considered the sincerity of the government as it relates to infrastructure and some policies in oil and gas industry.
‘We also put into consideration the plight of Nigerians. After putting all these forward, the two unions, after a strong deliberation, arrived at a conclusion.
“We came to support the government and the policy of price modulation.
“We believe that if the market is opened a little, it will create more room for investment,’’ he said.
Mr. Korodo added that “foreign investors with genuine gesture will come in with their products and this will create more jobs for the jobless.
“The foreign investors will not rely on foreign exchange from government.
“So it is a bold step in the right direction.”
He urged Nigerians to support the price increase, adding that it was a bitter pill the country had to take.
The chairman said that the two unions would not be part of the proposed strike by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
“We have informed our members to work and ensure that nobody intimidates them while doing their work,” he said.