NLC doubts govt’s promises on palliatives, minimum wage
Plateau, Kano workers reject harsh govt policies
Benue State chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) joined its counterparts across the country, yesterday, to protest against the hike in the pump price of petrol by President Bola Tinubu and the attendant hardship on the masses.
The workers marched on the streets of Makurdi from the NLC secretariat along Otukpo road before finally marching to Government House.
Chairman of Benue NLC, Terungwa Igbe, said the Federal Government was not sincere about providing palliatives to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
lgbe said: “It is unfortunate that people may not understand what we are doing. We are not protesting against the state government, which started well. What we are doing is giving you a message for the President of Nigeria. Will people die before they come with the palliative? What we are saying is that government should not rely on Dangote.”
Governor Hyacinth Alia, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Paul Biam, promised, as a member of the Steering Committee and Chairman for North Central in the disbursement of palliatives, to ensure the suffering and inconveniences caused by removal of subsidy did not affect workers in North Central.
At a mass rally yesterday in Plateau State, led by the NLC Chairman, Eugene Manji, and Steve Aluko of Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), the protesters described removal of fuel subsidy as anti-poor policy that must be rejected by all.
Aluko said: “Nigerians should not wait for NLC to defend their rights. We should break this conspiracy of silence on issues that directly affect us. Nigerians should stop this sentiment of ethnicity and regionalism because issues of governance affect all of us.
“Let Nigerians come out en masse and say no to anti-people policies. This government has overtaxed the poor people of this country. We should unanimously reject this.”
On his part, Manji said: “We are out to demonstrate that Plateau workers and citizens are part of this protest to reject the anti-poor policies of this administration. We are here to say capital no to subsidy removal.
Kano State government, yesterday, revealed plans to cushion the excruciating impact of subsidy removal on residents.
Residents had expressed disappointment over what they considered as deafening silence of the state government on palliative measures to ease the current reality.
Governor Abba Yusuf, at a meeting with members of Community Re-Orientation Committee (CRC) from the 44 local councils, in Government House, yesterday, disclosed plans to reactivate the CRC’s role in governance.
According to him, the state government is worried over the difficulties people face due to high cost of living, pledging to avail more possible ways of lessening the hardship.
The governor urged NLC to be patient with government at all levels, as they assiduously work to fashion out modalities of reducing the suffering.
Kastina State chapter of NLC has said the N30,000 minimum wage for workers was no longer reliable in view of economic realities in the country.
Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the state, Muntari Ruma, stated this while addressing NLC members shortly after a protest march by the union in the state’s metropolitan area.
Ruma said there was urgent need for review of the wage, as it could no longer take the average civil servant home.
He also said the union would not be intimidated by the Federal Government’s no-work-no-pay threat.
He assured that the TUC would abide by whatever decision the national body of NLC takes, even if it meant going on indefinite strike.
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