Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), says the esteemed academic organization does not subscribe to the notion of fuel subsidy existing within the country.
During his inauguration, President Bola Tinubu declared that “subsidy is gone,” which subsequently led to a surge in prices and scarcity of the product throughout the nation.
Despite the government’s prior assertions that it could no longer afford to subsidize payments, the President of ASUU expressed his bewilderment at the paradoxical situation where Nigeria is capable of exporting crude oil but struggles to refine it. He shared these thoughts while addressing a gathering at the Alex Ekweme Federal University in Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State.
“We don’t believe that there is fuel subsidy. You can’t be exporting crude oil for the past 70 years, and you still cannot refine the crude oil and sell to your people at the Nigerian rate, not at dollar. Then, something is wrong,” he said on Wednesday at the sidelines of a lecture captioned, ‘Advancing Technology through Quality Education, the ASUU Perspective’.
Additionally, Osodeke expressed his dismay over the country’s lack of a functional refinery and criticized the exorbitant sums of money expended on the existing ones.
The ASUU chief said “It is not rocket science to build a refinery. When the country deliberately refuses to maintain the ones they have but people [working there] are being paid,”
He added that over the past three years or so, Nigeria has allocated trillions of naira towards refurbishing refineries, but unfortunately, none of them are operational. Surprisingly, smaller nations have successfully established functioning refineries.
Following the Federal Government’s confirmation of subsidy removal, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have been engaged in negotiations.
Initially, they demanded a reversion to the previous fuel pump price, but eventually, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) decided to suspend their planned strike following a series of meetings with the government. ASUU, as highlighted by Osodeke, affirmed their alignment with the position of organized labour.
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