The Organised Labour on Monday said the Nigerian Government was not interested in honest dialogue over the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price.
The labour union said the government was not ready to find a lasting solution to the hike in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.
The body disclosed this in a statement jointly signed by the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja and Trade Union Congress, TUC, Secretary-General, Musa Lawal Ozigi.
In the statement titled: “Why we walked out,” the union said the government had shown bad faith in their agreement.
The statement reads partly: “At our meeting yesterday (Sunday night), we had prioritised as urgent this matter before delving into the issue of palliatives. However, the Honourable Minister of Labour, Dr Chris (Ngige) did not think it was important.
“All efforts to make him see reason failed. Given the tense situation and the government’s manifest of insensitivity, the organised labour had no option than to walk out.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the government is not prepared for a sincere and honest dialogue on finding a lasting solution to the twin issues of petroleum price increase and electricity tariffs.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari will tomorrow Tuesday formally commission the 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery at Ibigwe, Ohaji/Egbema local government area of Imo State.
The President decided to personally inaugurate the refinery in view of the fact that the project is key to his administration’s initiative to boost local refining of petroleum products to end importation and also make Nigeria the refining hub of Africa.
Buhari will be supported at the event by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva and Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, among other top government officials, oil industry regulators and stakeholders.
The president will also perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the 45,000 barrels per day refinery also initiated by Waltersmith.
The event will also feature goodwill messages from top industry players, partners and community leaders.
At a recent pre-commissioning visit to the refinery, Yusuf Usman, Chief Operating Officer, Gas & Power, said, “It is a landmark achievement and it shows that we can actually refine our crude oil in-country.”
The modular refinery has a crude oil storage capacity of 60,000 barrels and is projected to deliver over 271million liters per annum of refined petroleum products, including Kerosene, Diesel, Naphtha and Heavy Fuel Oils, to the domestic market.
The bulk of crude oil supply for this phase will come from Waltersmith’s upstream business, with backup from the OML 53 (Ohaji South) Seplat/NNPC JV third party crude currently processed at Waltersmith Ibigwe Flowstation and additionally from the 2020 Marginal Fields Bid Round for a nearby asset. Chairman, Waltersmith Group, Abdulrazaq Isa, said.
“The first module to be commissioned tomorrow is 5,000bpd refining capacity. We are looking at 50,000bpd refining capacity that will come with the planned additional two modules; 25,000bpd and 20,000bpd refining capacity respectively which will then add PMS, Aviation fuel and LPG to the product slates.” Waltersmith obtained the ‘License to Establish’ the modular refinery from DPR in June 2015 and got the ‘Authority to Construct’ in March 2017.
The company then partnered with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to raise the required financing. NCDMB are 30 per cent equity partners while AFC committed senior secured credit facility towards the project.
“From the very day we keyed into this project in line with the President’s aspiration to grow the country’s oil refining capacity, we felt very happy that we are associated with Waltersmith, a seriousminded company”, said executive secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote.
The company had in June 2018 signed an EPC contract with a consortium of V-fuels and Lambert Electromec. The construction of the modular refinery commenced in October 2018 and was delivered in less than 24 months, ahead of schedule but its official commissioning originally planned for May was postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.