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Subsidy removal: AbdulRazaq heads NEC’s committee to negotiate with labour

Subsidy removal: AbdulRazaq heads NEC’s committee to negotiate with labour
August 17
21:11 2023

The national economic council (NEC) says it has set up a five-man committee to negotiate with the leadership of labour unions in the country to resolve the crisis relating to the removal of the petrol subsidy.

The NEC is made up of governors of the 36 states, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other co-opted government officials.

Speaking in Abuja on Thursday, at the end of the council’s meeting chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima, Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, said NEC has also asked state governments to dialogue with the unions.

“A committee made up of Anambra state governor, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) chairman and others have been nominated to interface with labour,” Zulum told State House correspondents.

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Other members of the committee are Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo; Bala Mohammed of Bauchi and Alex Otti of Abia state.

“NEC is calling on Nigerians and labour to be calm and law-abiding as the president is determined to address the issues at hand,” Zulum added.

On Monday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said it would mobilise its members to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike if the current price of petrol increases.

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On several occasions, organised labour had criticised the hike in the price of petrol, saying the federal government must provide palliatives for workers over the removal of subsidy.

Speaking on the measures being taken by the government to ease the burden of the subsidy removal on Nigerians, the Borno governor said the N5 billion subsidy palliative announced for each state is for the procurement of food items and fertilisers.

He said states are to purchase 100,000 bags of rice, and 40,000 bags of maize, among other items.

“In order to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, the federal government released five trucks of rice to each state last week,” he said.

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“Furthermore, in order to cushion the effect of food shortages across the country, the federal government has approved the sum of N5 billion to be given to each state for the procurement of 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize and fertilizers.

“This funding has to be shared with a formula as follows: 52 percent of this money is given to States as grants, while 48 percent of the N5 billion is to be paid back on an instalment basis within a period of 20 months to the CBN by the States and the local government areas in Nigeria.”

 

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