The organised Labour in Nigeria on Tuesday rejected the pronouncement for the removal of fuel subsidy made by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a separate statement, the two labour centres warned President Tinubu not to dare the Nigerian people as they will resist any attempt to further impoverish the masses.
NLC statement which was signed by the president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, reads: “We at the Nigeria Labour Congress are outraged by the pronouncement of President Bola Tinubu removing ‘fuel subsidy’ without due consultations with critical stake holders or without putting in place palliative measures to cushion the harsh effects of the ‘subsidy removal.
“Within hours of his pronouncement, the nation went into a tailspin due to a combination of service shut downs and product price hike, in some places representing over 300 per cent price adjustment.
“By his insensitive decision, President Tinubu on his inauguration day brought tears and sorrow to millions of Nigerians instead of hope. He equally devalued the quality of their lives by over 300 per cent and counting.
“It is no heroism to commit against the people this level of cruelty at any time, let alone on an inauguration day. If he is expecting a medal for taking this decision, he would certainly be disappointed to receive curses for the people of Nigeria consider this decision not only a slight but a big betrayal.
“On our part, we are staunchly opposed to this decision and are demanding and immediate withdrawal of this policy.
“The implications of this decision are grave for our security and well-being.
“We wonder if President Tinubu gave a thought to why his predecessors in office refused to implement this highly injurious policy decision?
“Nigerians do not need to be wedded to the subsidy. It is not the subsidy that gives life to the social compact; the amount of the expenditure is the better litmus.
” When attempting to douse popular sentiment, government pretended that the social contract would remain intact because government would spend the money saved from the subsidy on other programs. This would be nice if supported by action. If government were sincere in this regard, it would have used an entirely different strategy…”
“In light of the foregoing, we advise Tinubu to respect his owe postulations and economic theories instead of daring the people. It could be a costly gamble.”
Also, TUC statement which was jointly signed by the President and General Secretary, Comrades Festus Osifo and Nuhu Toro reads:
“We dare say that this is a very delicate issue that touches on the lives, if not very survival, of particularly the working people, hence ought to have been treated with utmost caution, and should have been preceded by robust dialogue and consultation with, the representatives of the working people, including professionals, market people, students and the poor masses.
“We hereby demand that President Tinubu should tarry awhile to give room for robust dialogue and consultation and stakeholders engagement, just as he opined in his speech until all issues and questions – and there are a host of them! – to ensure that they are amicably considered and resolved. Nigerian Workers and indeed mases must not be made to suffer the inefficiency of successive governments.
“We are also worried that in his speech President Tinubu failed to delve into or reveal his plans on how to tackle and address the issue of poor and unchecked deterioration in industrial relations, particularly in the education, health and judiciary sectors, often resulting in prolonged strike and Industrial actions and their attendant adverse effects on society and the economy.”