The Nigeria Labour Congress and civil rights groups on Tuesday said there was no economic basis in the claim by the Federal Government that the petrol price in the country was among the lowest in Africa.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in an interview with The PUNCH, said government should have situated its argument against the devaluation of the naira and the minimum wage being paid to workers.

Also, some state chapters of the NLC said the hike in electricity tariff and the petrol price had said the N30,000 minimum wage is meaningless.

This is as a result of the increase of the ex-depot price of petrol by the Federal Government last week, marketers adjusted their pump prices to between N158 and N162 from N148 to N150 in August.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Monday that despite the increase in the price of petrol, the price of the commodity in Nigeria remained among the cheapest in Africa.

“Not only petroleum products but all other commodities are also expensive in Nigeria because of the free fall of the naira. Can they also make the comparison on the basis of the stability of the currencies of other countries over the years and the instability of the Nigerian currency over the last five years? You can then get the answer.”

Wabba said that the government should have considered the impact of its decision on the workers.

He said, “The point we have made is that many Nigerians have been pushed to the edge and it is insensitive to increase the prices of the two commodities at the same time-petroleum products and the electricity. You can see the impact already in the prices of bread which have increased from N250 to N300.”