The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of giving the Nigerian government "poisonous" advice on removal of fuel subsidy.

They also said the current petroleum scarcity-scare is the country is as a result of the IMF advice.

Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of IMF, had advised the Nigerian government to remove fuel subsidy. She stated this during the joint annual spring meetings with the World Bank in Washington DC, on Thursday.

However, a joint statement issued by NUPENG and PENGASSAN on Sunday, read: “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."

Noting that the IMF commended the significant progress the nation had made in terms of its Gross Domestic Product, the statement continued: “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.

“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 advice 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.”

They also pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari "to constantly put in mind the current hardship Nigerians are going through in our collective journey to economic recovery", adding that "any economic policy that is devoid of human feelings could lead to more social dislocations and upheavals."

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