Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Nigeria will lose N150bn daily to oil workers'strike, warns LCCI

With about N150 billion daily loss, the Nigerian economy would lose in six days, more than the N800 billion that the Federal Government owes oil marketers if oil and gas workers are allowed to proceed with their planned indefinite strike, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said.

Against the backdrop of the planned indefinite industrial action by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), LCCI Director-General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, warned that it would not be in the interest of an economy that was just recovering from recession.

Yusuf, who spoke in Lagos, urged the Federal Government to engage the unions and propose a credible payment plan to settle their resultant salary arrears, adding that the consequences of the strike would be severe because the oil and gas sector is strategic and critical to the economy.

According to him, “it will paralyse the chain of logistics in the economy, as economic activities are driven largely by road transportation, both for commuting and freight.

“It will impact revenue, as the upstream sector would be affected as well, and the power sector, which is largely powered by gas.”

Nigeria will lose N150bn daily to oil workers'strike, warns LCCI

Lamenting that fuel subsidy issue had been a recurring distraction to the nation’s economy, Yusuf said “it is regrettable that government has over the years got itself entangled in a problem that should not have arisen in the first place.

According to him, the economy has suffered serial scandals and monumental corruption arising from petrol subsidy, just as “we have consistently argued that government should completely decouple itself from importation, refining, transportation and retailing of petroleum products.

“This arrangement has created considerable distortions and stagnated private investments in the downstream sector because these are enterprises that the private sector is best suited to manage.”

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