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Trade Unions Seek Fairness as Nigeria Negotiates Impact of Fuel Subsidy Removal

Subsidy Removal: TUC Advocates Fairness in Talks (News Central TV)

The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, has criticized government officials for failing to demonstrate cost reduction while maintaining their extravagant “endless convoys” despite the adverse effects of fuel subsidy removal on the masses.

Comrade Osifo emphasized the need for politicians and the elite to make more sacrifices for the welfare of the country’s population. Osifo also expressed concerns about the high cost of governance and highlighted the decline in capital expenditure.

“Today, we still import all manner of cars from different parts of the world but you have some cars that are being manufactured in Nigeria. Why can’t you create policies that would encourage the manufacturing sector and also reduce the cost of governance?” he questioned during a media interview.

Osifo explained that the Labour proposed a new minimum wage of N200,000, compared to the current N30,000, because they anticipated that the government would float the naira and allow market forces to determine the exchange rate.

He argued that the value of N30,000, set five years ago during the last minimum wage review, has significantly eroded due to inflation, rising food prices, and increased transportation costs, among other factors.

Osifo criticized the removal of the only subsidized commodity for the people, the fuel subsidy, considering them the easiest target.

“Nigerians are facing a lot of hardship all across, it is really hard and it is really terrible. You are asking the people to tighten their belts but at the end of the day, what have you brought to the table? What is the contribution of the political class to this economic logjam that we are today as a country?

“What we are saying is that if the Federal Government was not able to fund subsidy, at whose expense? What were the things they were doing with our funds? All the money that they have borrowed, the ways and means that went over 23 trillion naira – what did they do with it?” he asked.

He demanded accountability from the Federal Government, urging them to explain how the borrowed funds have been utilized and the reasons behind the country’s significant debt profile. The TUC leader highlighted that these issues are being discussed in sub-committees to develop a position that will alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians.

On Monday, the Federal Government resumed negotiations with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the TUC to address the impacts of the petrol subsidy removal on the Nigerian population.

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