Fuel Subsidy Removal. Too Hard On Nigerians – TUC Tells Tinubu

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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Monday, applauded the decision of the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy but lamented that the persistent call for sacrifices on the part of citizens was no longer tenable.

Festus Osifo, President of TUC, while briefing the media on the state of the nation, noted that the Federal Government never reciprocates the sacrifices made by Nigerians.

He urged the Tinubu led administration to show good example by cutting the cost of governance, stressing that the proposed purchase of new vehicles by the 10th National Assembly was unpalatable given the current situation in the country.

Osifo said placing the burden of fuel subsidy removal completely on the shoulders of the masses while those in power continue to bask in wealth was unjust.

He charged President Bola Tinubu to start by reducing the number of his aides and making sure that each new minister only has a maximum of two assistants.

“We are canvassing for a basket that will contain alternatives to PMS, palliatives and reduction of the cost of governance, because, government cannot continuously ask the workers and the battered Nigerian masses to continuously tighten their belt. We have adjusted our belts and we have even exceeded the lap hole, while in government, they are continuously increasing their largesse.

“For us, it shouldn’t be the case of an animal farm where all animals are not equal. We are all Nigerians. If you tell us that there is a crisis, everybody must contribute to solving it. It should not be to the detriment of the downtrodden Nigerian workers.

“The burdens should not all be put on the citizens, they must be willing to tell us the sacrifices they are willing to make,” he said.

Osifo likewise requested the government to expedite work of the several committees overseeing the consultation on the withdrawal of fuel subsidies.

He noted that the Congress could only support concrete incentives that would be transparent and tangible, adding that they would not tolerate any additional attempts by the government to impose cash transfer palliatives.

On the proposed increase on electricity tariff, he said; “You would be adding salt to people’s injuries if you increase the electricity tariff. Nigerians’ endurance level is getting to the limit. It may get to the point where Nigerians will not be able to take this anymore.

“When you are bringing about policies even when the policies are the best, you must look at the timing and how to phase them out for you not to make the citizens suffer.

“We also say no to the proposed 7.5 percent VAT on AGO. It has been deregulated and the market forces are what determine the price. Today, if you introduce the VAT on AGO, we should be ready that this similar VAT will be introduced to PMS. As of today, they are listening but we have communicated with some of our affiliates that are directly responsible for this to continuously monitor if the government wants to introduce this through the backdoor.”

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