From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, has joined the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to reject the planned removal of fuel subsidy given the resultant increase in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to consumers.
The group described the proposal as a sign of failed and inconsistent economic policies of President Muhammadu Buhari administration and a deliberate attempt to impoverish Nigerians.
The group in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Ebilade Ekerefe in Yenagoa, accused the Federal Government of insincerity and inconsistency in policies demanding that the government support the people of the Niger Delta to establish modular refineries to boost refining and distribution of petroleum products.
“Because we are key stakeholders that own and produce these petroleum products, Ijaw youths worldwide are ready to call out its members to support the NLC in whatever action it deemed fit.
We also warn that despite our support to labour leaders, we will not condone the deceitful collusion of the past between labour leaders and agents of government to deceive and force pump price on Nigerians.
“Most of the policies within the oil and gas sector are meant to impoverish Nigerians and increase the stolen wealth of the rich. Instead of embarking on wasteful spending on the repairs of moribund refineries, which would be used as a conduit pipe by some politicians in the country, the Federal Government could have been well advised to accelerate the building of modular refineries and local participation in crude oil refining, which have been tested and trusted among people of the Niger Delta region.
“Even if the subsidy is to be totally stopped, there should have been a deliberate policy from a responsible and responsive government that more modular refineries and local refineries from the Niger Delta region should have been approved and established to reduce theft, diversion and increase local production and refining outside the country. And it will free capital resources towards development.”