By Oluwatope Lawanson

Yiaga Africa, a Civil Society Organisation, has urged the Federal Government to urgently fix all local refineries to tackle the effects of subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as fuel.

Mr Mark Amaza, Senior Communications Officer, Yiaga Africa made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

He reacted to the nationwide protest by the organised labour.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress on Wednesday, began a nationwide protest over the country’s economic situation caused by increase in petrol price and devaluation of the Naira, among others

Amaza noted that Nigerians were faced with hardship and sufferings occasioned by removal of subsidy on fuel by the current administration, while the country’s refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna remained moribund.

According to him, while we understand that the subsidy reforms are necessary, it is also important that government alleviates the sufferings of Nigerians both in the short and long terms.

“If subsidy is removed without any improvement down the line, it defeats the purpose.

“Government should feel the pulse of Nigerians about how hard things are and do the needful by tackling the problem at hand and not allow it become a new norm.

“Therefore, government should roll out friendly policies to ensure the economy gets an uplift immediately.

“Government should improve the local refineries to increase investments and attract more investments to the country, thereby bringing lasting solutions.

“They should encourage foreign investments, infrastructure investments, opening up of several economic sectors so as to create jobs/employment opportunities for all.”

He, however, advised the labour leadership to be clear and concise in their negotiations with the Federal Government.

He said, “they should continue to engage with government until a lasting solution is sought regarding the issues which necessitated the current protest.

“The labour leadership should show its disenchantment and also, the protest should not be done in a way that it will worsen the situation of things and give room for it to be highjacked by criminals. NAN

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