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Petrol subsidy removal: CSOs ask NLC to shelve planned strike

Petrol subsidy removal: CSOs ask NLC to shelve planned strike
January 10
20:39 2022

A coalition of civil society organisations has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve its planned industrial action over petrol subsidy removal.

The coalition, known as Civil Society Organisations and Professionals, said petrol subsidy payments have “done serious damage” to the country’s economy over the years.

In a communique issued on Monday, Isah Abubakar and Joe Moses, the group’s chairman and secretary, said subsidy removal would enable the federal government to implement the 2022 budget of N17.13 trillion.

In November, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, announced that the federal government would remove fuel subsidies in 2022 and replace them with a N5000-a-month transportation grant to the poorest Nigerians — a move that has been criticised by many.

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Thereafter, the NLC said a national protest would take place on February 1

The group urged NLC to dialogue with the federal government over the planned subsidy removal.

“The National Town Hall Meeting on Removal of Petroleum Subsidy has observed that the petroleum subsidy regime which has existed for decades has been without transparency, credibility and accountability in the process leading to payments of claims to the so-called beneficiaries of the arrangement,” it reads.

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“The town hall meeting observed that the monthly payment of over N250 billion monthly has done serious damage to the economy and for decades, the financial burden has retarded the growth and development of the country and if the trend is not reversed, it would continue to degenerate the nation’s revenue until the economy would have been irrevocably damaged.

“The Town Hall meeting also urged the organised labour to shelve the intended mass protest in the event that the subsidy is removed, given that the nation stands to benefit rather than some oil cartels that have been benefitting from the regime for several years now.”

The group said the government should ensure that the transportation grant is paid to citizens.

“That the planned palliative by the federal government to the citizens in the circumstance that the fuel subsidy regime is fully scrapped is a noble idea,” they said.

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“It would mitigate hardships occasioned by the removal of subsidies that may probably trigger difficulties in the cost of transportation.”

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