Following the ongoing talks on palliatives for government workers and Nigerians due to the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria, Organised labour groups have called on the Federal Government to lead negotiations on the petroleum subsidy removal to cushion its effects on workers and other Nigerians.
This was disclosed in a meeting by the National President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, and the senate leadership led by the President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio.
The Labour boss noted that the Wage Review Committee was yet to sit two months after the removal of the subsidy.
Organised Labour says it feels the committee put in place lacks the capacity to continue with negotiations compared with previous administrations, Ajaero noted:
- “Part of our challenge is the issue of the committee put in place. The committee seems not to be capable. As labour, we have done negotiations with previous administrations.
- “At no time had the Chief of Staff to the President, who is very busy, called to negotiate or lead negotiations and that has delayed the issues.
- “Even since our protest, another meeting has not reconvened, although the President promised that he will restructure the mechanism of engagement with the government for issues to be treated fast.
- “We had also agreed on wage award, and up till this moment, the committee on wage award is yet to sit.”
No cushions, more suffering
The NLC President noted that most Nigerians are suffering as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy without putting certain things on the ground to ameliorate the effects on the masses.
He noted that Organised Labour leaders are still deliberating on N537 per litre of fuel and the court had ruled for the status quo to remain, but the government decided to increase the fuel to N620 per litre, adding that the 800 million U.S. dollars loan being sought by the Federal Government, should not use the same template of disbursement by the previous government, he said:
- “Nothing is yet to happen on the issue of 800 million projected to be borrowed, we have not perfected the list of the people who will benefit from it.
- “We should not follow the record that was used in 2019 because we have our doubts about that record and no indices have been put forward to dictate those that are termed poor,
- “But be rest assured that effect of fuel subsidy removal being felt by workers and in fact, Nigerians would be ameliorated very soon by the federal government,”