Subsidy: NOGASA backs FG, urges labour to shelve strike

The Natural Oil and Gas suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA) has backed Federal Government removal of subsidy on petrol.

The association in a statement in Abuja by its Public Relations Officer, Ukadike Chinedu, on Thursday, expressed concern about recent developments in the downstream sector of the industry, especially with growing adverse effects on their businesses, workers and the Nigerian economy at large.

According to the group, the crunching impact on businesses and business investors in the downstream sector following the arrival of Covid-19 global pandemic has been, has been to disastrous for the industry.

The statement listed some of these concerns to include:

“Heavy losses (of over N320 billion) investment from products purchases at government specified prices, and sales at compelled price reductions, which could not be justified by the costs of transaction.

“Numerous businesses are dying in silence. A lot of them are no longer trading as a result of the heavy losses.

“There is an upward slide on the graph of job losses in the sector.

“NOGASA and its numerous members sacrificed significant resources during the height of the Covid-19 Lockdown period to keep fuel supplies stable across the nation.

“The Association also made sure that its members safeguarded the livelihoods of their workers by not opting to lay them off during these past difficult months”.

NOGASA said it was fully in support of the NLC/TUC that the government should repair the country’s refineries and also allow others to build private ones to encourage a more robust competitive business environment.

The group also added that it strongly “believes that further disruptions in the presently struggling economy will create far more problems for workers and businesses that employ them than it seeks to solve.

“It is in light of these and many other economic challenges and negative outcomes to the entire Nigerian economy that NOGASA appeals to the NLC/TUC to reconsider their proposed action over the increase in petroleum pump price and electricity rates by the government and engage government constructively on finding a lasting solution to the issues aforementioned.

“While the Association believes that there is great need for more sensitive considerations and far reaching negotiations and dialogue to resolve matters that affect us all, the Association also uses this medium to appeal to Government to declare a state of emergency on the refineries with a view to bringing them back to life as quickly as possible”.

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