Following the announcement of removal of fuel subsidy and the subsequent increment in pump price of fuel by the federal government, the Labour – Civil Society Front (LCSF), an umbrella Coalition of Labour Unions, human rights organisations, Civil Society affiliates, faith-based organisations, women-led associations, indigenous bodies and youths movements in Nigeria has declared support for the Wednesday strike and mass action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Organised Civil Society, against the action of the federal government.
The group in a press statement on Sunday commended the coalition for rising up in defence of millions of down trodden Nigerians who are adversely affected by the 29th May 2023 announcement by President Bola Tinubu that “Subsidy is Gone” and the immediate gestapo inflation of pump price of PMS by NNPC Ltd.
The statement noted that the coalition comprising of the NLC, TUC, CSOs and several other stakeholders are not new to the arguments on whether subsidy should go or stay and as such, had no difficulty in reaching agreement on the matter at the National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting of Labour on Friday 2nd June, 2023, where it unanimously resolved that all Nigerian workers should commence strike action from Wednesday 7th 2023.
“This resolution demonstrates the working people’s disappointment with the outright disregard the new administration has for publicly taken positions, democratic values, sound political judgment, good faith, and inclusive consultation, which could have saved the administration from the reckless posture targeted at hurting the most vulnerable and impoverished in our society.
“While it is clear to most Nigerians that the fraud and mismanagement in the oil and gas sector have reached unacceptable levels, making subsidy the lone scapegoat, is totally disingenuous.
“The announcement by President Tinubu calls for a holistic engagement with different segments of the country and multiple interests within the oil and gas sector. The “Subsidy is Gone” policy should have also been preceded by re-formulating an Alternative Economic Plan which is sensitive to social investment programmes.
“We, therefore, see this government’s latest move as a deliberate attempt to pass the burden of a failed economy on the price of PMS only without addressing the associated fallouts of such action. In effect, the Presidential fiat portends dangerous dimensions for multidimensional poverty and insecurity.
“However, to deepen Labour engagement through effective civil action, a Tactical Coordinating Team of civil society and labour leaders comprising of Comrades Nkoyo Toyo, Salisu Mohammed, Abiodun Aremu, Chris Uyot, Malachy Ugwumadu, Martins Egbanubi, Mo Paul, Hauwa Mustapha, Femi Aborishade, Monday Ubani, Richard Inoyo, Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia, Jnr, Promise Adewusi, and Veteran Olawale Okunniyi has been mandated to work closely with the NLC, TUC and organised civil society to present the issues which have arisen.
“Following consultations with stakeholders, Labour Civil Society Front wishes to inform Nigerians that its response is a non-violent intervention to the precipitate imposition of a self-serving agenda of the rich and the powerful few associated with government,” the statement further read.
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