TUC urges Tinubu to treat subsidy removal, other sensitive issues with caution
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to treat the issue of subsidy removal with caution.
In his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square in Abuja on Monday, Tinubu declared that the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended.
He added that the 2023 Budget made no provision for fuel subsidy hence subsidy payment is no longer justifiable.
Following the pronouncement of the subsidy removal, fuel queues have since resurfaced across the country.
Reacting to the issue, the TUC in a statement co-signed by its President, Festus Osifo; and Secretary General, Nuhu Toro said the newly inaugurated President should give room for dialogue and consultation and engage stakeholders before making any decision on the matter.
The TUC said the President cannot unilaterally take a decision on subsidy removal, positing that there was a reason the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari pushed it to the new government.
“While listening to Tinubus’s Inaugural Address, we were at first encouraged, by his pledge to lead as a servant of the people (and not as a ruler) and to always consult and dialogue, especially on key and knotty national issues.
“But we were subsequently taken aback, even horrified, when he announced the withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products, if by this, he means increases in pump price and the exploitation of the people by unregulated and exploitative deregulated prices, then it’s a joke taken too far.
“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.
“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. Nigerian Workers and indeed masses must not be made to suffer the inefficiency of successive governments.”