June 1, 2023.


The moment after the swearing-in of the new president Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, Nigerians
were hit with a word that translated to mean a national fuel price hike. For several years the
ruling elites have continued to swindle Nigerians with the word “subsidy”, which in reality, is the
failure of those in government to manage the resources effectively.
The Solidarity Network for Workers’ Rights (SNWR) condemns the increase in fuel price by the
Tinubu APC government as it clearly demonstrates that this government is highly anti-people,
with an over 300 percent increase. The failure of the corrupt capitalist APC government led by
Buhari for eight years and the corrupt capitalist PDP governments to fix the refineries made the
Federal Government solely dependent on importing petroleum products for several years. The
burden of these government failures is what the Tinubu regime is putting on the poor masses of
While the president was denying that the increase in fuel will not take immediate effect, the
Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) was, on the other hand, confirming the
increase in fuel prices across the country. Fuel prices jumped from 185 naira to between 500 to
700 naira immediately after Tinubu was inaugurated. This action is a clear indication that the
ruling elites of this country do not have the interest of the working masses in their agenda, and
we call on the Labour leaders to immediately call to action against this attack on Nigerians by its
political leaders. The prices of major commodities in the country have tripled due to the increase
in fuel prices. Many workers trekked a long distance to and fro their work as the cost of
transportation also jumped by over 300 percent.


In a country with over 133 million people living in multidimensional poverty, according to the
National Bureau of Statistics report in 2022, the Tinubu regime commenced with an excruciating
pain of inflation of prices of goods which many cannot afford. The regime has set a hurdle for
the people beginning with a dictatorial approach like that of the previous regime before it.
It might be unimaginable for many Nigerians that government after government is yet to fix any
of the country’s four refineries, but it is obvious that with their capitalist programme, every effort
is made by them to frustrate every government industry by making it redundant and
nonfunctional so that they can easily sale it to themselves or their cronies. This is the same thing
that was done to the power sector and many others like that. 
It is saddening to note that the Buhari APC regime spent over N150 billion on the search for
crude oil in the northern part of the country despite not having any of the country’s refineries
working. The resources devoted to oil exploration are more than enough to build a new refinery
that can produce refined oil for Nigerian consumption. Millions of dollars down the drain, oil in
the north remains elusive is how the Business Day of July 17, 2021, captured it. “After three
decades of the elusive search for hydrocarbons in the Lake Chad Basin, where the Federal
Government spent about N149.4 billion in the seismic expedition, yet the state-run energy
company is giving it another shot in 2021, but this time around the world is racing away from oil,
and the government is broke.
In a move most experts regard as a poor investment decision and lack of understanding of the
future of oil, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is aggressively searching for
new oil deposits to achieve its target of raising the nation’s oil reserve to 40 billion barrels by
The SNWR welcome the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC)
rejection of the fuel price hike, and we urge the unions to immediately mobilise the Nigerian
workers against the increase, as this will further drive many workers into poverty. As it stands,
the current national minimum wage of N30,000 is a mere figure and cannot survive any single
Nigerian for 30 days.
The Trade Unions should rebuff the call by the ruling elites for Nigerians to have patience for the
Dangote refinery to begin production. That call should be condemned as it’s a ploy to create a
monopoly that will not even resolve any contradictions we currently have. The Buhari
government has, in March 2021, approved $1.5 billion to repair the Port Harcourt refinery, yet
there is no signal of headway coming from that part.


Lateef Adams
Organising Secretary.