The Alliance on Surviving COVID and Beyond has called on Nigerians to join the planned nationwide protest against the removal of petrol subsidy.

The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress as well as civil society organisations had earlier declared rallies against the planned increase in petrol price from N164 to N302 per litre by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Femi Falana, SAN.

The nationwide rallies are scheduled to take place on January 27 and February 1 respectively.

In a statement Falana said the Nigerian Government lacked justification for the planned hike in petrol price.

The group said the government should have concentrated on tackling the menace of petrol smuggling in the country and ensuring the success of the compressed natural gas initiative.

ASCB also threatened to mobilise for mass action in the country if government decided to remove fuel subsidy.

The statement reads, “The Federal Government decided to remove the so-called subsidy and announced plans to distribute N5,000 transport allowance to 40 million poor citizens. The suggestion that the huge fund be spent on fixing the nation's comatose refineries has been ignored. 

"Having failed to fast-track the implementation of the autogas project, the Buhari administration has concluded plans to increase the price of PMS notwithstanding its reverberating effect on the cost of goods and services in the country. 

"Another justification for the increase is that it will curb the smuggling of petrol from Nigeria to neighbouring countries. The implication is that the people of Nigeria are being punished for the criminal activities of smugglers. 

"Since the actions of the Federal Government cannot be justified, we are therefore compelled to call on the economically marginalised Nigerian people to participate in the rallies scheduled to hold throughout the country on January 27 and February 1, 2022 at the instance of the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress as well as the progressive extraction of civil society organisations. The victims of the neoliberal economic policies of the Federal Government have nothing to lose but their chains. 

"Instead of supporting the planned increase in the price of fuel to N302 per litre, the Nigerian Governors Forum ought to adopt measures to end the alleged smuggling of over 60 million litres per day. 

"However, since the rallies are designed to warn the Federal Government to stop further provoking the Nigerian people, it is hoped that all anti-people's economic policies will be jettisoned in public interest.

“Otherwise, the regime should be prepared for a popular uprising if it goes ahead to remove the so-called full subsidy."

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