Mr. Bede Opara, President General, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), has advised the Federal Government against removing fuel subsidy now.
Opara gave the advice in an interview in Lagos on Monday.
He gave the advice against the backdrop of the advice by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Federal Government should remove the subsidy.
The IMF recently called on Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy to help in her fiscal adjustments.
The IMF said that the removal would also help Nigeria to mobilise her non oil revenues, strengthen her oil price as well as act as oil saving mechanism.
Opara said that the removal would inflict more hardship on the labour force.
“The burden will be on the average worker if the government removes the subsidy.
“There is already inflation in the country and with the removal of the fuel subsidy, the inflation will definitely increase.
“It will be difficult for the ordinary man to be able to feed with a higher pump price regime in place,” he said.
Opara warned that any increase in the price of petrol would be resisted by the workers and Nigerians in general.
He expressed regret that up till now the government had not done anything concrete to those alleged to have stolen from the subsidy fund.
Opara urged the Federal Government to put the four refineries in good shape so that the country would stop to import petroleum products.
“It is very shameful that we cannot maintain our refineries.
“It will not be good for our image if we start to import fuel from our neighbours considering that we profess to be the giant of Africa.
“That will not be good for our image,” he said.
He said that if the refineries were maintained, more jobless Nigerians would find employment there.