By Goodluck Ikiebe
Following the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to its affiliate unions to mobilise their members and be ready for a total shutdown of economic activities across Nigeria on Wednesday 7 June 2023, should the Federal government fail to reverse the recent fixed fuel pump price by NNPCL, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has directed its teeming members to prepare to join the action.
NUJ in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, said the Central Working Committee of the pen-pushers union, deliberated on the issues and found NLC’s position and proposed action worthy as it’s in the interest of Nigerian citizens.
The Directive in part reads; “An emergency Central Working Committee meeting of the Union (NUJ) was convened online today, Saturday, June 3, 2023, to discuss issues surrounding the decision by the Federal Government to remove Fuel Subsidy and the position taken by the Nigeria Labour Congress.
“After presentations by the National President, Chris Isiguzo, and the National Treasurer, Bamidele Atunbi on the position taken by NLC on the matter, members unanimously adopted the position of NLC on the issue.
“CWC reiterates the argument that although the removal of fuel subsidy will free allocations which can be channelled to the provisions of infrastructure and creation of additional jobs, the sudden removal could however lead to social unrests and protests as people may perceive Government as being insensitive to their plight.
“CWC also notes that already there is an astronomical increase in the prices of petroleum products and high inflation which have drastically reduced the purchasing power of citizens.
“Accordingly CWC directs all State Councils of the Union to mobilise members to withdraw their services and commence protests nationwide from Wednesday next week, 7th June 2023, if the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limiter (NNCPL) refuses to reverse the new price regime in the Oil sector.”
*WHAT’S YOUR TAKE OVER THE SUBSIDY REMOVAL IN NIGERIA?* Some respondents have this to say;
Subsidy Removal: Time to Increase Minimum Wage to N90,000 or More.
The recent adoption of the new policy withdrawing fuel subsidy as contained in the Petroleum Act 2023 by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has raised a lot of eyebrows across the country.
A situation which has led to the increase on the pump price of petrol per liter to a newly announced rate by the NNPCL of N500 per liter.
Considering the rate of corruption encouraged and supported by the payment of petroleum subsidy, withdrawal of the subsidy becomes pertinent and must be supported and encouraged by Nigerians.
Yes, it will not be without swallowing some bitter pills, but the Nigerian government on its side must complete the revolution by raising the standard of living of the ordinary Nigerian to balance the equation.
Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world where the pump price of petrol is very cheap, not because it is an oil producing country, but because the government gives $10 billion to importers of the product in the name of subsidy.
The new non subsidy petroleum regime currently embarked upon, that is supported by law, for which subsidy has not been provided for in the budget inherited by the new government, will only create additional poverty in the country if nothing is done to reciprocate the effects.
It is practically clear that as the level of expenditure increases for the common man, and the rate of income remains the same, definitely the rate of poverty increases to the brim.
With the rise in price of petrol in Nigeria, transportation, food, services and other essentials including healthcare and education will increase. There is going to be a massive inflation in the country.
Hence, what Nigerians need to do, from both the private and the public sectors, is to ensure the creation of a new minimum wage scheme that is three times more than the current one.
From the N30,000 minimum wage, it must be increased to nothing less than N90,000 for both the private and public sectors and supported by law to avoid enslaving the citizens and putting them in extreme hardship.
Those were the views of some concerned Nigerians.