- Nigeria’s Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO), has lambasted the proposed deregulation of petroleum products in the west Africa state is anti-people. The proposed deregulation is expected before the end of 2009.
The statement from the coalition comes amid rising tension and frustration of motorists to join the long que-ues at filling stations in Lagos where scores of motorists jostled to buy petrol.
The mobilisation officer of the organisation, Abiodun Aremu, said though the federal government is adamant on implementing the policy, the cry of the masses against the proposed deregulation, shows the masses are not ready to embrace the decision of the government.
"The opposition of the organisation to the policy of deregulation has not changed and it is not going to change," Mr Aremu said.
In October, the Nigerian Senate endorsed the Federal Government's planned deregulation of the oil industry, saying that it had become crucial to redress the looming problems in the petroleum sector.
The new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which has been under serious scrutiny, proposes that the oil industry would be substantially free from government control and run strictly as a business in a deregulated environment.
Government is also aiming at deriving more revenue from petroleum resources by increasing royalties and taxes payable by oil companies, in addition to giving host communities stakes in the ventures.
Mr Aremu said they are opposing the policy because previous deregulation policies in the country have all failed. "The policy of government on deregulation in terms of what it has also done in other sectors in the past has shown clearly the failure of the Nigerian state to manage that,” he stated.
President Umaru Yar'Adua had last month said there will be no going back on deregulation as the government is set to see it through, stating that his government is committed to deregulation as subsidies distorts the system.
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