Governors becoming richer with Palliatives, says NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has slammed the federal government for channeling it’s Palliatives to reduce the sufferings if Nigerins through the various state governor
This is as the Labour Union accused President Tinubu of further enriching State governors with palliatives which were supposedly meant to cushion the adverse effect of the subsidy removal.
President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero who spoke at the NLC National Symposium tagged: ‘Nigeria Economy and the Crisis of Survival: Robbing the Poor to Pay the Rich,’ described the removal of fuel subsidy as a “war against the poor”.
The NLC leader who alleged Nigerian governors were in the habit of converting whatever was meant for the poor masses and workers for their personal use and benefit, explained that the palliatives which the federal government was giving to a whole state were barely enough to adequately cater for just one Local Government Area in a State.
“What is happening in the country today is clearly a class war between us the dispossessed and those that have. They want to continue to have. Whether is the issue of subsidy or whatever. So it is clearly a war against the poor. I have not seen such wickedness against the poor anywhere as seen in Nigeria today.
“The announcement we got about the N5 billion allocation to the States is so annoying. You allocate billions to States and five trucks of rice. If you share five trucks of rice to a local government they will not get one, one cup.
“If we accept the position of the Bureau of Statistics that we have 133 million Nigerians that are multidimensionally poor before the subsidy removal. And after the subsidy removal, the number must have increased or doubled. If you multiply 5 billion by 36 States and Abuja, you will get about 185 billion. If you divide it by 133 million which is multi-dimensionally poor, each person will not get up to N1,500. Is that the palliative?
“You will take the palliative and give to the governors. It is obvious that anything you call palliative and give to the governors is not for workers. We all remembered how former President Buhari gave them money to offset salaries of workers but they refused to use the money to better the life of Nigerian citizens under the governance.”
The NLC President also regretted that the gap between the poor and rich in Nigeria was further widening, even as the middle class has been totally eliminated.
“People can’t go to work again, there is nothing on ground for them to work on. This lamentation has continued to go on And on, and Nigerian workers are at the receiving end.
“What the bourgeoisie is getting is not reducing. They are getting subsidy on daily basis, some of them that are importing goods, they are giving them import wavers. Their allowances are increasing but that of Nigerian workers are decreasing by the day.
“Poverty situation is worsening, the level of unemployment is unimaginable and the same with the level of underemployment. There is hardly any Nigerian that is properly remunerated going by what is happening in the country.
“The worst is that there is no social safety net. no transportation system, no housing, even if a worker saves for 35 years, the money cannot afford housing. Our pension deductions we cannot say much about it. Now what is it that government is actually doing for the citizens? Where is welfarist service component of the State to its citizens?
“This is a call that this lamentation is more and the gap between the poor and the rich is getting wide by the day. The middle class has disappeared and there is no conscious effort to redeem the situation.”
Ajaero raised concerns that government has once again begun to treat workers’ welfare with levity and was treating it with its normal lackadaisical attitude by failing honour promises of acting on concerns raised by the union for the benefit of not just public servants, but Nigerians in general.
“On the issue of the so-called subsidy removal, they said it was by market forces and they didn’t have time to prepare palliative for us. The first one came, 500 and above, the next one came, market forces; 600 and above. We met with government, they promised to conclude action within 8 weeks today it’s almost 12 weeks, nothing has happened.
“There was a further attempt by the same market forces to move it to 700 and we warned market forces, said if you move it, we are going to meet with you and behold, the Spokesperson of Mr President came out to attack us that we don’t know what we are saying. Is the Spokesperson of Mr President the market force? Is he the market force? And up till now, nothing has happened.
“The National Assembly intervened in the issue during our action and said we should give them one week and within that one week we met with the Senate President and he promised to meet with the President of the country so that they can look at all the issues and take decision. But between that time and now, we have not gotten any word from the Senate President. We are left helpless, the level of despondency is so high.
“At the end of the symposium, we will chat a new direction to serve Nigerian people. The Nigerian people are suffering all manner of hardship, removal of different subsidies and you are dealing with them further without anything to fall back to; it is very sad.”
On the proposed military action against the coup in Niger Republic, Ajaero advised President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to show exemplary service by first addressing the illegalities trailing appointments and removal of democratically elected leaders in Nigeria before attempting to do same in other countries.
“Nigerian government should concentrate on stopping the illegalities in Nigeria then the coup and removal of democratically elected government in Gabon and Niger Republic.
“When government is removing democratically elected people in Nigeria, how then are you more concerned about what other countries. So we should check ourselves and the level of attacks on the poor, trade unions and the masses.”
In his remarks, Senate Committee Chairman on Employment, Labour and Productivity, Sen. Diket Plang, has assured the NLC its calmness in addressing workers’ interests would not be taken for granted.
Plang expressed confidence that Congress and the Committee would have a seamless relationship and collaboration throughout the tenure of the 10th Assembly, promised that workers would not be left alone in the struggle to survive the harsh effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
“It is a well-known fact that NLC is committed to championing the rights and well-being of Nigerian workers and the broader population.
“The Senate Committee on Employment, labour and Productivity will play its legislative role, which includes addressing all matters relating to trade unions and labour generally.
“I will ensure that NLC has the platform within the Committee’s jurisdiction to see that workers are not left alone in this fuel hike period and the struggle to survive in the face of economic crisis.
“Our committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity has made adequate arrangements for a workshop between the Nigerian Labour Congress and other trade unions so that they will educate us to know the problems of the workforce.
“I believe that the closer the relationship between the labour unions and us the elected representatives, will equip us to better represent the thinking, dreams, welfare, security of the Nigerian workforce.
Techrectory with Agency Report

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