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Subsidy Removal: ‘You’ve betrayed Nigerians,’ CSOs lambast NLC

A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), has berated the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), over what it described as the latter’s betrayal in negotiation with the federal government over the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

 

In a release late Sunday, the coalition also accused the NLC of not carrying them along, as it warned that any agreement reached with government without them would be unacceptable.

 

The 65 member coalition explained that without carrying them along, the NLC seeks to pursue the interest of its 36.5 million members, while forfeiting the wellbeing of 175.4 million other Nigerians.

 

It referenced the proposed salary increment for workers, as it lambasted the Congress for not pushing for palliatives for the citizens who it said are predominantly in the informal sector.

 

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Accordingly, the statement which was signed by the Convener, Basil Musa, Co-Conveners, Malam Maigida, Ayo Temi Adebayo, and two others, urged the Federal Government to stop further negotiation on fuel subsidy removal, until the CSOs are co-pted into it.

 

It further called on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume and other key government officials involved in the negotiation to call together stakeholders for discussions on a lasting solution.

 

Their word, “In the history of Nigeria, this is the first time the fuel subsidy was removed with dire consequences as petroleum pump price surged to over 350% with its attendant hike in food stuff and other commodities – this, the CSOs viewed as unsustainable as Nigerians can no longer live their average life due to difficulties,” the coalition maintained”.

 

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While tasking the Federal Government to probe all fuel subsidy payments for the past years and ensure that all illegal payments are recovered, it further buttress the “drastic reduction in the consumption of litres of fuel per day, after fuel subsidy was scrapped by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on May 29, 2023.”

 

“It remains a mystery for litres of petrol consumption to have dropped from 66 million per day to 40 million, stating that investigation into activities of fuel subsidies will reveal the threshold of scam that has been existing in the oil and gas industry for several years which Nigerians are interested to see further reasons the subsidy should be removed,” the Coalition insisted.

 

The Coalition include Oil and Gas Transparency and Advocacy Group, Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), Centre for Citizens Rights, Centre for Good Governance Advocacy and Action against Corruption.

 

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