The Union demanded that the President should tarry awhile to give room for stakeholders engagement before taking a decision on the matter.
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has expressed disagreement with President Bola Tinubu over the unilateral removal of petrol subsidy. Congress argued that the President cannot unilaterally take the decision to remove subsidy payments on petroleum products without consulting other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.
The TUC, in a statement by the TUC President, Festus Osifo; and the Secretary General, Nuhu Toro, enjoined the President to “tarry awhile to give room for robust dialogue and consultation and stakeholders engagement” before making any decision on the “delicate” matter.
The Congress noted that there are several issues that need to be amicably considered and resolved in the industry before the President can make such a decision on the removal of petrol subsidy.
“Nigerian Workers and, indeed, masses must not be made to suffer the inefficiency of successive governments,” TUC declared.
On Monday Tinubu in his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday had declared that “The fuel subsidy is gone,” insisting that the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended, and that the 2023 Budget made no provision for fuel subsidy and therefore, subsidy payment is no longer justifiable.
TUC, however, countered the President, declaring: “While listening to Tinubus’s Inaugural Address, we were at first encouraged by his pledge to lead as a servant of the people 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 the 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.”