The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday highlighted the woes workers are passing through as a result of the lingering fuel scarcity being experienced across the country.
The NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said the crisis has affected workers productivity adversely nationwide.
He said: “If you look at the scenario it is a reoccurring decimal, people are facing serious fuel challenges from one day to the other.
“This is affecting productivity, it also put workers on unnecessary and undue pressure because you know that the salary is fixed.
“Anytime there is an increase in any commodity either power or petroleum product certainly it deplete that available income at the disposal of the worker.
“So, it is workers that are at the receiving end and in that way you can see that the workers will begin to come late and the management will say you are coming late without making a redress on the alarm factor.
“Those are the clear issues and I think that government must look at the policies and tackle the situation head long”, he said.
He said government must fashion out medium and long term measures that would fixed the problem holistically.
He noted that the issue of fuel scarcity had been on since 1999 and there was need for drastic action to be taken.
“It means that the prescription for solving the fuel situation cannot take us to the promise land.
“Then if it cannot take us to the promise land, why should we continue to do just a quick fix on this very major issue?”
Wabba, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the refineries should be made functional to remove untold hardship the people are going through and to boost the economy.
He said that the NLC had done an extensive research on the four refineries and findings revealed that the refineries could still be classified as new ones.
According to him, some of the refineries around the world are built in 1981, saying there is an Indian refinery that has stayed for over 100 years.
“The argument that the four refineries in the country cannot meet our domestic needs is false.
“We have seen refineries that have lower capacity but through the process of upgrading and upgrading the capacity of refining were able to meet locally and international needs.
“So, if Kaduna refinery can be upgraded, Port Harcourt refinery, among others, their capacity of refining can also be upgraded and with adequate maintenance these refineries can work for over a 100 years.
“It is just that we are not doing what is right. That is why they are referring to our refineries as scrap.
“They want to buy and upgrade them in that way monopolising them.
“So, the argument is flat that is why we have remained consistent on our position that once we get the policies right, then it will be okay for us to move forward”, he said.
Wabba gave an instance of Chevron multinational oil company that had been in Nigeria for many years but did not have a refinery in the country.
He noted that Chevron had refineries in Singapore even when that country did not have oil.
He explained that “what Chevron does is to transfer our oil from Nigeria to Singapore and refine it there and bring it back as a refine product for us to buy. “So, we are then paying the transportation back and front and the cost of refining the product, this is the scenario.
“So, why is so difficult for them to build those refineries in Nigeria where they are doing production for over 30 and 40 years.
“This is because of corruption. The Federal Government must wake up”, he said.