The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has criticised the proposed N5 petrol levy by the Senate, describing it as a huge joke.
The South-West chairman of NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo, said in Lagos on Saturday that the proposal was ill-timed and also smacked of insensitivity to the current economic hardships facing Nigerians.
He wondered how the nation’s Upper Chamber could think of another fuel price increase when Nigerians were “striving to cope with the current harsh economic realities”.
“How can the Senate propose such a bill at this particular period when poor Nigerians can hardly feed themselves?
“Prices of foodstuffs have tripled in the market, while workers’ salary has not been increased,” Korodo said.
Sen. Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano), the chairman, Senate Committee on Works, had on June 1, presented a bill entitled, “National Roads Bill” to the House.
The bill recommends that Nigerians should pay N5 levy on every litre of imported petroleum products and that levy will form part of the proposed National Roads Fund.
It also recommends the deduction of 0.5 per cent on fares paid by passengers traveling on inter-state roads to commercial mass transit operators as well as the return of toll gates on federal roads, among others.
Korodo said: “Just a year ago, the pump price of petrol was increased from N87 to N145 per litre and Nigerians accepted the increment because of the sincerity of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Any attempt to adjust the price of petrol under any guise will be resisted by organised labour.”
The NUPENG chief called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the leadership of the Senate to step down the bill.