Subsidy: NLC, TUC kick as Tinubu plans N8,000 for 12m families
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and its counterpart, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have faulted President Bola Tinubu’s plan of giving cash palliatives of N8,000 to 12 million families.
The President, in a letter written to the National Assembly on Thursday, asked for the approval of $800 million borrowing from the World Bank.
He said the money would be transferred directly to identified indigent beneficiaries’ accounts to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
Reacting to the move, both labour unions said Tinubu was running contrary to the works of the Presidential Technical Committee on the removal of subsidy.
NLC and TUC argue that it was not only undemocratic but showed that the President is merely inaugurating the committee as a window dressing for whatever purposes he has set out for himself.
A senior officer of NLC who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “The issue is whether the President has trust and confidence in the Steering Committee set up or not. If he has a budget already, it means that he already has activities he has planned on his own. If he has that, what is the need of the Committees? The action of the President has undermined the credibility of his own Committee
“We believe that it is not only undemocratic but shows that the President is merely setting up the committee as a window dressing for whatever purposes he has set out for himself.
“When you also look at what he has planned, to give N8,000 to households for six months which approximates to N48, 000, you ask yourself, can N48,000 address the millions of suffering the government has already inflicted on the poor?
“Will it make any significant impact in addressing the consequences already being faced by Nigerians? Will the suffering suddenly end after six months?”
On his part, the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, Festus Osifo, who also doubles as President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, simply said “Any palliative payment must be in line with the agreement reached with labour in line with the technical committee meeting.”