Fuel Subsidy: How PENGASSAN, IPMAN Reacted To IMF's Counsel To Nigeria |Nigeria News
Nigeria was late last year hit with fuel scarcity. Image: Guardian

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) has called on the Federal Government to disregard the International Monetary Fund (IMF) advice on fuel subsidy.

Concise News understands that IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, during a press conference on Thursday at the joint annual spring meetings with the World Bank in Washington DC, called on the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy, saying it is the right thing to do.

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However, PENGASSAN and NUPENG in a joint statement described the counsel by IMF as poisonous.

“The statement of IMF has created panic in the country with associated hoarding of petroleum products, panic buying, skyrocketed increases in prices of goods and services in the country,”  the statement said.

It further noted that “We read with serious concerns and worries the reported statement” on the state of the Nigerian economy and “the unsolicited poisonous advice on the further recovery of the nation’s economy.”

They said, “It is quite bewildering and baffling that the IMF is not considering the pains and agonies Nigerians went through even to achieve the acknowledged gains of 2018, with almost two-thirds of the world’s hungriest people among Nigerians.

“One wonders why the IMF is still callously and wickedly advising the government to inflict more pains and harm on the people.”

According to them, “This [IMF] statement is embellished and loaded with poisons, considering the antecedents of the IMF in our economic challenges and struggles over decades of our nationhood.

“The various devaluations of our currency on the strength of advices of the same IMF have been a very big burden on our nation for several years now.

“The leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN are aware of what Nigerians are going through; we empathise with them and will not turn a blind eye to any further attempt to increase their pains and impoverish them further.”

This is as the statement added that “We earnestly plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to constantly put in mind the current hardship Nigerians are going through in our collective journey to economic recovery.

“Be it known that any economic policy that is devoid of human feelings could lead to more social dislocations and upheavals.”