TUC begs FG to provide genuine palliatives

TUC gives FG two-week ultimatum

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has appealed to the Federal Government to urgently provide genuine palliatives, stating that Nigerian workers are facing the worst moment in their lives and now go to work on an empty stomach.

Kogi State chairman of TUC, Sule Ahmed Tijani, made the appeal during an interview on Friday.

Tijani, while lamenting the poor state of workers due to fuel subsidy removal, said Nigerians can no longer bear the hike in prices of transportation and foodstuffs in the country, adding that workers are losing their lives and loved ones due to the untold hardship they are facing.

He berated the government for failing to put in place reasonable measures to cushion the hardship Nigerians are experiencing.

His words: “This has affected workers greatly. As I speak, transportation and food prices have all gone up. Workers in Kogi State are living at the mercy of God as we speak. Things are getting out of hand.

“It seems the government is playing deaf to the suffering of the masses. Workers don’t have enough money to go to work any more. An average worker working at the State Secretariat, Lokoja, and residing at Felele will be spending about N1,500 for transportation to the office, including feeding every day.”

He continued: “Unfortunately, the removal of fuel subsidy and the recent increase in petrol prices have further compounded the suffering of workers across Nigeria. Government has not done well by increasing fuel within two months of coming on board. The present administration didn’t tell us any reason for increasing the new fuel price.”

Noting that the country’s minimum wage can no longer sustain workers, he said: “The previous administration put many workers into suffering, and now this one is adding his own when we thought things would get better. We can no longer continue like this. As labour leaders, it is expected of us to pacify our followers so that they won’t do something that is contrary to the law.”

Tijani further knocked the proposed N8,000 palliative by the Government, urging the present administration to look at it holistically on the modalities to solve the problems of Nigerians and not worsen them.

“Let them channel the N8,000 to revive our refineries. They should stop making fools of us. We all know that if the proposed N8,000 monthly palliative is implemented, it will end up in the hands of the rich. The poorest families, who are the target, will not get anything. State governments and their allies will hijack it the way it has been done in the past,” he stated.

While noting that labour is not looking at the option of downing tools to press home its demands, the TUC chairman said members of organised labour are waiting for government to come up with a genuine template to ameliorate the suffering of workers.

Tijani also appealed to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, to, as a matter of urgency, look into the plight of workers just like other states are doing and help reduce their hardship.

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