Fuel Subsidy Removal: We are “totally confounded and shocked” at FG’s Premeditated “ambush” – TUC

TUC President Bobbio Kaigama

TUC President Bobbio Kaigama

The Trade Union Congress on Thursday expressed disappointment at the Federal Government’s removal of subsidy on petrol, saying that they are “totally confounded and shocked” at the premeditated “ambush” by the Federal Government.

The TUC said this in a statement by its President, Bobboi Kaigama, and General Secretary, Simeso Amachree.

This coming after the Nigerian Labour Congress vowed to resist the increase “with every means legitimate”.

According to the statement, the TUC said that the organised labour received a 24-hour notice for a meeting with the Vice-president and some other key government functionaries including the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Minister of Information, the Chairman of the Governor’s Forum, and the Minister of State for Petroleum. Others include the principal officers of the National Assembly led by the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Chairmen of the respective Committees on Petroleum in both chambers of the Assembly.

It said that the call for the meeting stated no specific agenda, and they never “that the government had already concluded plans to hike the price of petrol”.

The TUC said that although the leadership of the labour were in attendance, they never made any input. They said that when the Federal Government stated the plans to introduce the new prices, they responded by asking for time to consult with the respective executive organs and subsequently revert appropriately which the government agreed to.

According to the statement, The TUC has scheduled an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) for Friday, May 13th, 2016 to x-ray the government’s pronouncement and take a stand on the matter in the best interest of Nigerian workers and Nigerians in general.

“To say Nigerians are disappointed and dismayed at the fuel price hike would be a colossal understatement, especially as the present APC government repeatedly insisted during their pre-2015 election campaigns that there was already nothing like subsidy during the immediate past administration. Alas, what a great volte face! What betrayal in high places!

For sure we know that the fuel scarcity the nation is currently experiencing is artificial, and we have observed comments of those benefiting from the system commending the latest development. For us, the fact that petrol is currently selling for between N150 and N250 per litre does not mean that such outlandish prices should be maintained, least of all endorsed as official policy.

We are meeting soon and will come out with our position. God bless Nigeria and her people,” It said.

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