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Labour Last Updated: Jan 4, 2012 - 10:54:13 AM

Nigeria: Labour Unions Vow to Protest
By Kayode Ekundayo, Daily Trust 2 January 2012
Jan 4, 2012 - 10:53:00 AM

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Lagos — The Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Campaign for Democracy (CD) and National Union of Petroleum, Natural Gas (NUPENG) have described the removal of fuel subsidy as unacceptable and a stab in the back by the federal government.

The unions in separate statements said the federal government's action could lead to chaos and anarchy. According to the TUC President, the action of the federal government has ushered in an anti-people based price of N141 per litre.

He said the Nigerian workers and the masses have declared a dispute of interest with the Federal Government adding that the NEC (National Executive Council) of TUC would be meeting in the coming days to take a firm decision on this issue.

"This is unacceptable to us and to the Nigerian masses that have been ambushed by a government they expressively gave a popular mandate to represent them some few months back. The TUC views this development as a stab in the back by the federal government who only last week entered into a dialogue with the organized labour on how best to forestall a looming anarchy in the New Year should the plans materialize.

"We are surprised that the government could proceed to implement the removal without recourse to the National Assembly who all available indices indicate that they have not given it any legislative backing neither was it mentioned in the 2012 national budget."

"This action by President Goodluck Jonathan is therefore dictatorial, undemocratic and a total declaration of war on the poor masses of this country that are being punished by an inefficient system that is anchored on few corrupt oil thieves who are major sponsors and backers of government.

"This is why the government cannot muster enough political will to arrest and prosecute them. What we expect the Federal Government through the PPPRA to do is to tackle the corruption in the system first before this present action. For the avoidance of doubt, TUC insist that until new refineries are built and the old or existing ones are made to function optimally, there cannot be a removal of petroleum subsidy."

Also, the campaign for Democracy (CD) said it was alarmed that the Jonathan government has again packaged a callous New Year 'gift' to Nigerians by the removal of "subsidy" on Premium motor spirit (PMS). "We see the action as wicked, insensitive and a clear demonstration of deep contempt for the plight of Nigerians majority of whose sufferings are presently at the lowest ebb."

According to the President of the Association, Dr. Joe Okei - Odumakin, Nigerians are face - to - face with a sadist who takes delight in the suffering of the ordinary people in prosecuting a ruthless reform dictated by the world bank and IMF.

"But they say that if a child has perfected the dying art, the parents must also become skilful undertakers. The development is a challenge to the fighting spirit of Nigerian masses.

"Unfortunately, it is the ordinary people that are being made to bear the brunt of irresponsible governance. Which responsible government in the world would preside over the six largest producer of crude oil in the world and would depend on imported refined fuel at a price it cannot control for domestic consumption just as it cannot determine the price of crude", she said.

Similarly, the zonal Chairman NUPENG said the removal of subsidy was sudden and shocking. "This action shows that our government should not be trusted. We were told that removal would take place in April, why now? We are all going to reject this barbaric act. This is very irritating", he said.

On his part, the Lagos state Chairman of PENGASSAN, Foluso Oginni berated the Federal Government over the development. He said it shows that the government shows no concern about the myriads of problems in the country. He said his union is shocked, annoyed and worried by the adjustment in the midst of general insecurity in the country.

Source:Ocnus.net 2012

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