The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has branded the World Bank an “enemy of the Nigerian nation” for proposing to end petrol subsidies and raise the price of gasoline to N750 per litre.
In a Friday statement, the Union’s President, Joe Ajaero strongly criticised the World Bank’s recommendation, while emphasising the negative effects such a policy would have on Nigerians’ well-being.
Rejecting the proposal, he urged Nigerians not to succumb to foreign pressure, particularly from organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which frequently advocate policies that are detrimental to the welfare of its citizens.
“It is truly a shame that the World Bank has really shown itself to be an enemy of the Nigerian nation. Its continued grandstanding and generation of anti-poor policies and programmes have destabilised many countries of the South, especially nations within the sub-Saharan region,” Ajaero stated.
The NLC emphasised the consequences of previous increases in petrol prices, citing the hardships and negative effects on Nigeria’s industrial base and domestic manufacturing capacity.
Other than adhering to the World Bank’s advice, Ajaero emphasised the importance of the government prioritising local resources, revitalising domestic refineries, and combating corruption in the downstream petroleum sector.
“The difficulties and suffering created by the last hike in the price of PMS which was a product of the advice of the World Bank and its sister institution, the IMF, is still ravaging the nation, destroying in its wake the nation’s industrial base and domestic manufacturing capacity which favours Western metropoles,” he noted.
Highlighting the disparity between international petrol prices and local wages, the NLC warned against further increases, terming it a “suicide pill” that would exacerbate the nation’s economic woes.
He further admonished the government to focus on policies that uplift the standard of living for Nigerians and resist foreign influences detrimental to the nation’s interests.