• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Declare state of emergency on insecurity – Labour tells FG

Electricity: Why we’re insisting on total reversal of tariff hike – Labour

The organised labour on Thursday urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on insecurity as well as address the transportation difficulties facing workers amid rising fuel prices as a result of the removal of subsidy on petrol.

The labour argued that the recent declaration of a state of emergency on food by the Federal Government will have little or no impact unless the general insecurity in the land is holistically addressed, such that farmers who have abandoned farms for fear of being killed, can regain the confidence to return to their farms.

“Mr. President has declared a state of emergency on food. But that would not guarantee food security because farmers are being chased away from their farms. In some parts of Niger State, for example, farmers are being made to pay terrorists to access their farms,” said Tommy Okon, president of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), who addressed the media in Lagos.

The Labour also expressed disappointment at the manner the President Bola Tinubu-led administration was going about the planned palliatives to cushion the effects of petrol subsidy removal, on Nigerians, describing it as unilateral.

Okon decried the failure of the government to carry the organised labour and other critical stakeholders along in discussing the best approach to the palliatives.

Read also: NDDC set to build dam, camps to combat flooding in Niger Delta

He said labour would rather want to see a palliative that addresses the transportation difficulty faced by Nigerians as a result of the hike in petrol pump prices which has triggered unprecedented increases in transportation fares across the country. A little of petrol now sells above N600 in all parts of Nigeria, from N488, in May this year, when President Tinubu announced an end to the subsidy regime in his inaugural speech at Eagle Square, Abuja.

Okon, who frowned at the government’s failure to leverage the committees (involving labour and other interested parties) constituted to handle the fallout of the petrol subsidy removal, accused the Federal Government of ‘dictating’ the nature of palliatives to give Nigerians, rather than convening meetings of the main and sub-committees to discuss the matter.

He queried how the government arrived at the N8,000 proposed as palliative for 12 million households and the register used when a similar cash transfer in the recent past, has continued to generate debate as to whether it got to the people purportedly meant for.

“We were all witnesses to how somebody told Nigerians that they were feeding school children who were at home during the COVID-19 lockdown,” Okon said, stressing that this time, the government must seek the inputs of stakeholders by allowing the committees it set up to meet and discuss the palliatives to cushion the effects of the petrol subsidy removal.