The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday rejected the new increase in the pump price of petrol announced last week by the Federal Government.
The Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) had last Friday announced an increase in the ex-depot price of petrol to N155.17.
The development forced the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) to direct their members to sell the product at a price range of N168 per litre or N170 per litre.
But in a statement issued by its President, Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said the new price hike would increase the level of anguish in the country.
The union said the increase in the petrol pump price was “against the spirit and content” of the organised labour agreement with the Federal Government during last negotiations over a similar hike in the price of the product.
NLC also charged the government to stamp out the smuggling of petroleum products out of the country and prosecute smugglers.
The statement read: “We need to see big-time petroleum smugglers arraigned in the court of law and made to pay for their crimes against the Nigerian people. The government has the resources available to it to ensure this economic justice to Nigerians.
“The question in the minds of many Nigerians is whether the government is willing to go against major financiers of the major political parties known to the public as the architects of the current national woe.
“In line with our recent agreement with the government, we will be receiving updates in the next few days from our unions in the petroleum sector which have been given the mandate to keep surveillance on the government’s promise to overhaul our public refineries.
“We will also receive updates from our representatives in the electricity review committee. The updates we receive will determine whether the government has kept to its side of the bargain which is to take serious steps to recover and reposition our public refineries.
“The outcome of this engagement will determine our response in the coming days. But while we are at that, we condemn the recent price increase and we call for its reversal with immediate effect.”