By G9ija

Fuel marketers might be driven to adopt job cuts as a cost-saving measure to buffer more than N320 billion loss resulting from government-imposed product prices as the downstream segment of the energy industry faces headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Some of our concerns are heavy losses of over N320bn investments from product purchases at government specified prices and sales at compelled price reductions, which could not be justified by the costs of transaction,” Ukadike Chinedu, spokesman of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), said in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday.

According to the labour group, many businesses are going under and several have halted operations.

Ukadike noted that another upset to the economy, with its current downturn, could have dire implications for employees and businesses.

“It is in light of these and many other economic challenges and negative outcomes to the entire Nigerian economy that NOGASA appeals to the NLC/TUC to reconsider their proposed action over the increase in petroleum pump price and electricity rates by the government and engage Government constructively on finding a lasting solution to the issues aforementioned.

“While the Association believes that there is great need for more sensitive considerations and far reaching negotiations and dialogue to resolve matters that affect us all, the Association also uses this medium to appeal to government to declare a state of emergency on the refineries with a view to bringing them back to life as quickly as possible.”