Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
House of Representatives, Monday, appealed to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to suspend a strike it had proposed pending outcome of its dialogue with stakeholders of the petroleum sector.
The House had set-up an ad hoc committee, chaired by Chief Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, to interface with relevant stakeholders and report to it in five days for further legislative input.
The resolution was sequel to the presentation by Minister of Petroleum (State), Ibe Kachikwu, who appeared before the lawmakers, at a special session, to explain why the Federal Government removed fuel subsidy.
The Minister explained that the new fuel price regime will create massive investment in infrastructure by attracting foreign directive investment (FDI), into the country.
Kachikwu said the deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector will enable the Federal Government fund the upstream where funding has been less than 30 percent.
“It will relieve government of monthly cash call funding and create a sustainable self-funding arraignment for government equity in existing joint ventures.
“It will ensure effective development of Nigerian gas market with adequate and sustainable gas supply to power, industrial sector and develop gas based industries for national economic growth and development”, the Minister said.
He lamented that 800,000 barrels have been lost due to pipeline vandalism adding that the country’s revenue has witnessed 70 percent decline due to falling oil prices.
Kachikwu further said that the N145 cap fixed by the Federal Government was a way of protecting Nigerians from the harsh economic situation of the country adding that when the international oil price had stabilized, the petroleum sector will be completely left to market forces.
Members of the PDP did not want the Minister to come into the chambers to explain the increased petrol price, leading to a rowdy session.
Labour had threatened to embark on a strike beginning Wednesday, May 18, if the Federal Government failed to reverse the petrol price to N86:50k.