GROUP PLANS MASS ACTION AGAINST SUBSIDY REMOVAL, PHCN PRIVATISATION
BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG & NOAMI MGBAKOR
LAGOS - JOINT Action Forum, JAF, umbrella body for civil society organisations in Nigeria, yesterday, unfolded plans to mobilise Nigerians and collaborate with organised labour to force government abandon its planned petrol subsidy removal and the privatisation of the electricity sector.
At a briefing in Lagos, leaders of JAF, said the planned fuel price increases in the name of subsidy removal and privatisatson of power sector were anti-Nigeria and must be resisted by well-meaning Nigerians.
Briefing on behalf of the group, its Secretary, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, warned that if allowed to take place, the consequences would be too grave for the survival of Nigeria as a nation.
It demanded the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of the military occupiers from the Power Holding of Nigeria, PHCN, facilities nationwide.
According to him, 'Nigerians must begin preparation for protracted mass actions as the government is hell-bent on going ahead with the proposed increases in fuel prices, and the privatisation of the electricity sector.
'JAF, therefore, calls on Nigerians to form Action Committees in the communities, workplaces, schools, town unions, religious places and other constituencies to join forces with the Labour movement to resist and defeat all anti-poor policies.
'Also, Nigerians should prepare for a protracted struggle to end these regimes of corrupt politicians and looters and replace them with a government of the working people and the poor who must use the oil wealth and the resource endowment of the country to benefit and better the lives of all.'.
'Join forces with JAF today to 'reject deregulation and hike in prices of fuel. Reject and resist the privatisation of the electricity sector. Demand public trial of all public and private profiteers and dealers involved in the looting of oil subsidy, repairs of refineries as well as other corrupt atrocities in the privatisation of public enterprises. Demand that the books of the oil industry be made open to the Trade unions and working people organizations for Public Inquisition. Insist on Public Massive investment in the building of refineries and overhauling of the facilities and infrastructures for haulage of fuel. Struggle to end the privatization and deregulation policies.'
'We call on Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria TUC to disown their membership of the National Council of Privatization (NCP) and Stay out of it now. We demand that the oil sector and the NNPC should be placed under public ownership and management and democratic control of the working people, consumers and local experts.
Organise and Mobilise for a Working People political party that must put in political power a Government that will end the era of looting and exploitation by the corrupt capitalist ruling cabals and ensure that the wealth of the country is judiciously applied to benefit the majority working population (formal and informal sectors) and the poor.'