Mr. Emmanuel Ojugbana, the National Public Relations Officer of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said on Friday that the fuel subsidy has not been of any benefit to Nigerians.
Ojugbana told newsmen in Abuja that the union had always opposed the issue of fuel subsidy as the money that would have been used to build more refineries and maintain the old ones was being spent on the importation of fuel which does not help the economy.
Speaking on the sideline of the May Day celebration, he described as shameful the fact Nigeria, with its huge crude oil resource, was importing fuel and suggested that the sector should be opened up to more investors.
Ojugbana opined that if more investors were attracted into the sector, more refineries would be built to meet the fuel needs of Nigerians.
“Fuel subsidy has never at any time been of benefit to Nigerians; we, as workers’ union, we have always and will continue to oppose the issue of fuel importation.
“Because at the end of the day, the money that would have been used to develop new refineries, to maintain the current ones, will have been moved into importation of fuel and it does not help us at the end of the day.”
He said that since the government issued private marketers the licence to import fuel, it is its responsibility to meet their demand.
“The workers union had always opposed any issue that will bring hardship to Nigerians, even the current fuel scarcity, the union had always made its suggestions to government to intervene quickly.
“We are taking on the marketers but when permission is given for importers to import fuel, government gave them licence to import fuel, it is for government to pay whatever is due to them,” he said. (NAN)