Kaduna: Governor, labour leaders meet to avert strike

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By Hussaina Yakubu

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Kaduna June 5, 2023 Kaduna State Governor, Sen. Uba Sani, on Monday met with leaders of the organized labour in the state to avert the planned strike action over fuel subsidy removal.

The governor told newsmen after the meeting in Kaduna that the engagement was to fashion out ways to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government.

According to him, the fuel subsidy is a scam benefitting only a few individuals and its removal will in the long run be of immense benefits to Nigerians.

He said that the Federal Government led by President Bola Tinubu had no option but to remove the subsidy, which was not provided for in the 2023 budget.

“It will be hard at the beginning, but the people will smile at the end,” he added.

The governor said that the meeting with the labour leaders was to look at possible means to alleviate the situation.

“I know what the people are facing and as leaders it is our responsibility to come up with important and robust palliative arrangements.

“We cannot do that without the support of the labour leaders, they are close to the people and they know their concerns,” he said.

The governor said a committee will be set up to ensure amicable resolution of issues thrown up by the fuel subsidy removal.

Uba Sani said he would also continue to engage the people and labour unions on any contentious issue.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Kaduna state is not going to experience any protest; our problem is very peculiar, we will not seat and look at what other states are doing,

“We are going to address our issues together with the labour leaders and by the grace of God, we will have that support. There is not going to be any strike in the state,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by leaders of the NLC, TUC, IPMAN and NURTW.

The state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Suleiman said that the engagement started on a good note and discussed ways to reduce the effect of the subsidy removal

“We are not in any way representing the national body, rather the citizens of Kaduna state,” he added.

The NLC chairman believed that the governor, as a comrade, has great concern for the downtrodden.

Also, Abdullahi Danfulani, the Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), appreciated the governor for calling the meeting.

He said that the unions would look at effects the subsidy removal would have on members and the general public, hoping that the government will aalleviate its negative effect on the people.

On his part, Sadiq Yusuf, Secretary General of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state, said the meeting will create an understanding between government and the marketers.

He said it was important for a volatile state like Kaduna not to take part in the planned protest, adding that the association supports the removal of the subsidy.

Yusuf said money saved from the removal of the fuel subsidy should be channelled to setting up more refineries, schools and research centres.

He also advised governments at all levels to provide palliative to minimise the effects of the subsidy removal.

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Strike: Ebonyi workers begs NLC to sue for dialogue, save the economy Leave a Comment / By Douglas Okoro / June 5, 2023 Dialogue By Douglas Okoro Abakaliki, June 5, 2023 (NAN) Civil servants in the employ of the Ebonyi Government have appealed to the leadership of the organised labour to dialogue with the Federal Government in resolving the dispute arising from petrol subsidy removal. A cross-section of the workers, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that dialogue would yield better results than confrontation. According to the respondents, strike by workers at a time the country’s economy was in turmoil would exacerbate the already distressed economy. They noted that dialogue was the best way to get the government to listen to the demands of the workers and urged labour to shelve the proposed nationwide indefinite strike in the interest of the nation’s economy. Mr Clement Ofoke, a member of staff in the Ministry of Works and Housing, appealed to the national leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and its counterparts in the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to seek dialogue with the federal government. “Strike will put the nation’s economy in lockdown and it’s the masses like you and I will bear the brunt of any economic lockdown in the country. “Presently, the ordinary citizen is finding it difficult to cope with the harsh economic situation caused by the recent jerk in petrol pump prices that resulted in the astronomical increase in prices of goods and services. ” So, any strike action now will make the situation even worst and the common man including civil servants will be the worst hit,” Ofoke said. Mr Ephrain Onyibe another civil servant disagreed with the manner the fuel subsidy removal was announced by President Bola Tinubu but urged the organised labour to give the new administration a chance to fix the economy. “It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. Dialogue is the best approach to solving the current faceoff between labour and the Federal Government. “The administration is still very young and I think that the best we can make as citizens is to support the administration to steer the country to economic greatness. “Though the subsidy withdrawal has affected the socio-economic lives of the Nigerian citizens, especially the low-income earners, but, we all need to make some sacrifices to better the economy,” Onyibe said. Mrs Veronica Onwe, a member of staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources urged the government to take necessary steps to avert the looming national strike saying that the labour strike was an ill wind. “FG must listen to the demands of the organised labour and act fast to stave off the impending strike because the strike is an ill wind that blows no one any good. “I don’t want the strike to hold because it will further plunge the economy into deeper distress, so, I’m appealing to the government to listen to the demand for labour,” Onwe said. She stated that the transportation fare and prices of essential goods and services had more than tripled since the federal government announced the end of the fuel subsidy regime on May 29. “The least you can pay to a cyclist (Okada man) for a ‘drop’ ranges between N200 and N1000 as against N50 and N300 before subsidy removal,” she added. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tinubu during his inaugural speech on May 29, announced the end of the fuel subsidy regime resulting in an instantaneous increase in the petrol pump price. The organised labour in reaction urged the federal government to revert to the status quo and fixed Wednesday, June 7 to begin a nationwide indefinite strike should the the government failed to heed its demand.

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