The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) seem to be gearing for war with the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari over fuel subsidy removal.
The two labour groups made a vow on Wednesday in Abuja to fight the incoming administration over the plans to remove fuel subsidy when Buhari gets into power late next month.
This position was made known by the factional Deputy President of NLC, Comrade Peters Adeyemi during a press briefing ahead of the activities of the 2015 Workers’ Day. He stated that the subsidy does not exist as it is part of the corruption the country is battling with and must see that it does not happen.
The labour body also warned the incoming administration of Buhari not to be desperate in looking for money in the wrong places. “We know it has been a contentious issue over the years. We have consistently said that there is nothing like subsidy. So it is all about corruption. If you also take your minds back to the so called removal of subsidy, it is something that numerous governments have embarked upon without an end. So who tells you that if the incoming government embarks on it, it will see to the end of removal of subsidy?” he asked.
“During Obasanjo’s government, this exercise was embarked upon about 11 times and Labour engaged the government severally. It is like the more you look, the less you see. For us in Labour, we are not going to support that, both NLC and TUC. So I hope that the incoming government in his desperation to look for money will not do that. It is part of corruption. For now we do not have the disposition to support that and we are not supporting it,” he added.
He added that NLC and TUC do not have the mandate of their members to support the removal of the subsidy.
Speaking on the call by NLC to pay outstanding salaries before the May 29 handover date, Adeyemi said they have already commenced campaigns, also partnering with State Councils to make sure that the outgoing governors pay their workers before they exit office. According to him, there will be no justification for any Governor who does not pay its worker before exit.
“The NLC has already taken decisions and are working already, we have constituted task forces that will go round the states that identify which states have refused to pay salary. Right now, we are partnering with state councils with a view to taking on those governors, we are determined to make sure that before May 29, we put in place appropriate actions that will compel those governors to do something positively on the money they owe us”.