The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has said that the retention of fuel subsidy has not been of any benefit to Nigerians.
Mr. Emmanuel Ojugbana, PENGASSAN’s National Public Relations Officer, stated this on Friday while speaking to newsmen in Abuja on the sideline of the May Day celebration.
Ojugbana said the union had always opposed the issue of fuel subsidy because the money that would have been used to build more refineries and maintain the old ones was being spent on fuel importation.
He said it was shameful for Nigeria, with its huge crude oil resource, to be importing fuel from abroad, adding that the sector should be opened up to more investors.
Ojugbana said: “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.”
According to him, since the government issued private marketers the licence to import fuel, it is its responsibility to meet their demand.
“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.
Ojugbana stressed that if more investors were attracted into the sector, more refineries would be built to meet the fuel needs of Nigerians.
He said that the workers union had always opposed any issue that would bring hardship to Nigerians, like the current fuel scarcity and had always made its suggestions to government for quick intervention.