The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and university workers have expressed their strong opposition to the Federal Government’s decision to remove the fuel subsidy, leading to widespread economic hardship in the country. The NLC has announced its readiness to combat the challenges caused by the subsidy removal, while university unions condemned the government’s “unintelligent” approach to removing the subsidy without adequately addressing the resulting suffering of the masses.
The NLC’s National Assistant Secretary, Chris Onyeka, revealed that the Central Working Committee would hold a crucial meeting to address the issues surrounding the recent price hike in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and formulate a plan of action. Onyeka stated that the government had been given sufficient time to address the citizens’ plight, but no substantial action had been taken.
Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) criticized state governments’ plans to roll out palliatives to alleviate the effects of the subsidy removal, stating that the measures lacked specificity and transparency. The TUC President, Festus Osifo, stressed that palliatives should be verifiable and measurable to ensure accountability. He also cautioned against tuition fee increases and the proposed 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel, calling for policies that support the country’s exchange rate.
In response to the hardships faced by Nigerians due to the fuel subsidy removal, Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has approved various palliatives to cushion the impact. These measures include cash support for public sector workers and additional allowances for medical and educational personnel. Similarly, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has sanctioned palliatives such as cash assistance for public servants and the immediate release of letters of promotion for workers.
Amid growing opposition and concerns over the economic impact of the fuel subsidy removal, the Nigerian government faces mounting pressure to address the plight of its citizens and find sustainable solutions to ease the burden of rising fuel prices and living costs.