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N8,000 palliative is an insult to Nigerians – Kaduna NLC, TUC tells Tinubu

…Urges for revival of refineries.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said the N8,000 palliative to Nigerians as announced by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an insult.

NLC Chairman Kaduna State Council, Comrade Ayuba M. Suleiman, and his TUC counterpart, Abdulahi Alhassan Danfulani, stated this during the joint peaceful protest organized in Kaduna on Wednesday.

They said Nigerians are not interested in any palliatives but only measures that would curb the effects of the removal of fuel subsidy posed on the citizens.

According to Ayuba, Nigerian Government is not specific on when to alleviate the plights of the citizens, instead continues to enumerate obvious challenges in the country without possible solution, adding that priority should be given to the revival of refineries across the nation.

The Union leaders, while rejecting the students’ loan proposed by the FG, also condemned the hike in public school fees, stressing that free education is their right and, therefore, called for the reversal of school fees in all public schools.

According to him, the protest “is just a one-day national exercise to call the FG to order so they can know that NLC and TUC is still very much around,” while calling on members to stay at alert for further instructions from the National Headquarters.

He stated that the Union is very much open to dialogue for upward review of N200,000 to cushion the effect of the economic hardship on their members because it is time for the review of minimum wage so as to improve their standard of living.

They also appreciated the Kaduna State Government, led by Senator Uba Sani, who was represented at the protest by his Special Adviser on Labour Matters, Adamu Samaila, saying, “it’s a departure from the Kaduna State Government of the past.”

In an interview, Kaduna NLC chairman said “Following what happened on Adamawa, during our State Executive Council meeting, we take into consideration the insecurity, safety and orderliness of what may happen during protest, in case it is hijacked by thugs.

“That’s why we took measures and went to police and all other security outfits to protect the protesters; and we had more than enough and got all the required protection from the beginning to the end of the protest.

“It was a successful outing. The only challenge was that someone came out to tell us that banks did not operate, and we said it’s not under our instruction. It was not a national strike because of the court injunction owning to contempt against Labour; more so that our national leader is a lawyer.

“Although, NLC has challenged that matter in court; so, we cannot fold our hands and watch things going bad. So, this one is just like a warning to tell government we’re alive,” he said.

He also said “We are enjoying; we have started enjoying good industrial relationship with the current Kaduna Government. Of recent, they appointed one of us as a Special Adviser on Labour Matters. In fact, he gave us opportunity to even nominate from among us. Although, we gave so many names, he picked one out of it. 

“This is to tell us how far he has demonstrated commitment in Kaduna State. We’ve established an understanding that, whenever we have issues, he wants to be in the known, even before hand, and asked us to work straight into his office and share with him.  

“He has given us 8 slots out of about 15 men of the palliative committee he constituted. We work with the committee and we have submitted our recommendation and they are working on it as we speak. All this gives us indication Governor Uba Sani wants to work with the Labour.

“We are not surprised, because the current governor is a Comrade. We didn’t shutdown the state because it’s a national strike,” he stated.

While he queried the pulling down of NASS Gate – which shows lawlessness – he added that, “Organised Labour is not uncivilized body; it’s part of the struggle. As a State Council, we are anticipating any other directive we have entered into as Congress through our leadership with understand with the government.

“But we are entertaining fears, like they are not taking it serious. This is about two months now government set up committee, with other subcommittees, but has not started working. So, in this protest, we are still telling them we are still the NLC they know. 

“The distribution of palliatives is being worked; they awaited fear of our protest will hijack it. Again, the Commissioner nominees screening also delayed it most. But soon, I’m sure, any moment from now,” he assured.

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