The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has asked President Bola Tinubu to reverse the order on fuel subsidy removal, saying he should have discussed the issue with stakeholders before unilaterally making a decision on the matter.
The congress said its members were surprised with Tinubu’s inaugural address on Monday, 29 May, 2029 when he declared that subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as Petrol “is gone”.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja On Tuesday, 30 May, 2023, President and General Secretary of TUC, Festus Osifo and Nuhu Toro, said they expect the President to be wise with the matter.
Osifo described the subsidy removal as a “delicate issue”, hence the reason the former President Muhammadu Buhari left the issue for his new administration to address.
“We dare say that this is a very delicate issue that touches on the lives, if not very survival, of particularly the working people, hence ought to have been treated with utmost caution, and should have been preceded by robust dialogue and consultation with, the representatives of the working people, including professionals, market people, students and the poor masses.”
“Accordingly, we hereby demand that President Tinubu should tarry awhile to give room for robust dialogue and consultation and stakeholders engagement, just as he opined in his speech until all issues and questions – and there are a host of them! – to ensure that they are amicably considered and resolved,” Osifo said.
The labour boss said Nigerian workers and indeed masses must not be made to suffer the inefficiency of successive governments, adding that they are ready to dialogue with the President.
According to him, the labour movement was worried that Tinubu, in his speech, failed to delve into or reveal his plans on how to tackle and address the issue of poor and unchecked deterioration in industrial relations.
“It is not for nothing the Buhari government pushed this to the new administration, but we expect the Tinubu government to be wise on such a sensitive issue and be more explicit in its pronouncement to avoid contradictory interpretation when comparing his written statement, what he said and the provision in 2023 appropriation act,” Osifo said
“We are also worried that in his speech President Tinubu failed to delve into or reveal his plans on how to tackle and address the issue of poor and unchecked deterioration in industrial relations, particularly in the education, health and judiciary sectors, often resulting in prolonged strike and Industrial actions and their attendant adverse effects on society and the economy.
“A case in point is the current nationwide strike by JOHESU. If there was anything for the administration to hurriedly address from day one in office, it’s the abysmal N30,000 minimum wage that has since been eroded by the problematic monetary and fiscal policies of the government,” TUC leader added.
According to Osifo, the labour union is open and ready to dialogue with the Tinubu administration on the fuel subsidy issue, just as he also urged the new government that it should in the interest of the country and its people not to dictate on such a matter or engage in manipulating the outcome of such consultation