The Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday said Nigerians lost their peace of mind following the “Subsidy is gone” comment made by President Bola Tinubu during his May 29, 2023, inauguration.
The labour congress in a statement jointly signed by the national president, Joe Ajaero and Secretary-General, Emmanuel Ugboaja, in Abuja, faulted the Tinubu administration over its “unfriendly” policies while adding that the administration had continued to treat Nigerians as slaves.
The NLC, however, noted that it would mobilise a nationwide strike on August 2,2023 should the government fail to meet all its demands namely the immediate reversal of all “anti-poor policies such as the hike in price of Premium Motor Spirit; increase in public schools’ fees; increase in Value Added Tax among others”.
The statement partly reads, “The Central Working Committee of the NLC observed that the Federal Government has shown enormous disdain and contempt for Nigerian people and workers having acted and continued to act without regard to the welfare and cries of the citizenry.
“That Government seems to have declared a war of attrition on Nigerian workers and masses without any care leaving them to the throes of hopelessness and helplessness; the Federal Government has refused to put in place safeguards to protect Nigerians from the harsh economic situation that its policies have inflicted on the people rather it has decided to insult the sensibilities of Nigerian masses by offering us N8,000 per family and offering themselves N70bn.
“That the Federal Government has frustrated and abandoned its own committee which was a product of social dialogue between the government and workers’ organisations in the country. While the committee has not met, the government embarked on unilateral actions and programmes.
“That since Mr. President’s “subsidy is gone forever” speech at the inauguration day; the peace of mind of Nigerians has gone; decent living gone increasing despair of unimaginable dimensions. That the federal government has continued to treat Nigerians as slaves and conquered people which it treats with impunity without any concern on the consequences.
“That the Federal Government has continued in an unholy mission of robbing the poor to pay the rich in Nigeria as typified by its continued frustration of the activation of the agreed alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit and new hike in prices of PMS to N617 per litre.”
Speaking further, the NLC noted that the Federal Government has continued to promote the “gang-up of the ruling elite against the Nigerian people and workers; churn out without relenting policies designed to emasculate Nigerian workers and people via not just increases in PMS prices with its spiralling effect but also increases in VAT, increases in school fees across all publicly-owned secondary and tertiary institutions of learning.”
On its next steps, the NLC noted that it had received pressure from Nigerians who have been calling on it to lead a national strike.
The congress also noted that it had reached a breaking point hence it would, “give the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum within which to meet all our demands and to embark on a nationwide action beginning Wednesday the 2nd of August, 2023 to compel the government to reverse its anti-poor and anti-workers policies.”