The Movement for a Socialist Alternative has condemned the hike in the price of petrol by the Nigerian Government, saying it was a delibrate move to further impoverish citizens in the country.

The MSA in statement signed by its spokesperson, Dagga Tolar, on Wednesday called on labour leaders to mobilise for a strike on behalf of the masses to protest the price increase.

It reads, "The price of petrol was raised from N125 to N143, making a mockery of the reductions four months ago, and consequently mocking the Nigerian people. We call for immediate reversal of this price regime.

"We at the same time call on labour leaders to mobilise the Nigerian working and poor people for a 24-hour warning strike as a means of rejecting this outrageous government policy.

"We view the announcement made by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency of a new price band of N140.80 to N143.80 per litre for petrol as inhuman and anti-poor, as the fuel price hike represents drawing blood from an haemorrhaging patient, given that the working masses have been facing unbearable inflation in costs of food and transportation due to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government.

"Meanwhile, the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted negatively on workers and poor people, resulting in a swathe of furlough workers and an increase in the already high rate of unemployment, with no unemployment benefits set aside from the huge wealth of the country to pay the huge army of the unemployed.

"This unwholesome policy surely would further burden an already burdened people and lead to the demise of the small businesses of the poor. Contemplating this hike alone has proved that the Buhari regime is cut off from the reality of the average man, who has petrol, required for transport and powering of his small businesses etc., as a central part of his daily economy.

"The political elites cannot in any way know what the working masses are going through, considering that the political elites are inoculated from the growing poverty in the urban centres and farming communities.

"The same elites have continued drawing provocative wages from the nation’s account while forcing austerity and hardship down the throat of citizens."

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