…demands reversal of petrol price, electricity tariff
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the increases in petrol price, electricity tariff and other social services, or risk an indefinite industrial action and national protest come September 23.
The ultimatum was contained in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, and signed by President of the TUC, Comrade Quadri Olaleye and Secretary General TUC, Comrade Musa Lawal.
The letter was entitled ‘We cannot bear the burden any longer, issuance of seven days ultimatum.’ The letter, which was sighted by newsmen yesterday in Abuja, stated that it was written primarily to, once again, draw the President’s attention to earlier communication on the issues under contention, which were affecting the survival of majority of Nigerians.
The TUC said its organs resolved that: “Government should take immediate steps to reverse the hike in prices as it affects electricity, petrol and all other social services in the country to status quo ante (prior to increase) within seven days. “Provide adequate and quality healthcare and education for all to save the poor and the vulnerable at all levels. “Your Excellency, we can no longer bear the burden of these avoidable problems.
“These demands are made in good faith, and to save the dying masses and the vulnerable in our society. In the event of not showing empathy for this class of people by adhering to above demands, we shall, together with our Civil Societies and allies sympathetic to the suffering masses of our people, commence an indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday 23rd September 2020.”
TUC said it has observed the gradual and steady annihilation of Nigeria and Nigerians in the light of government actions for the umpteenth time. According to it, “Some of the issues that have become worrisome to the working class, their families and the masses include:
“Sudden increase in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) without any definitive and concrete efforts to make our refineries functional, which has a devastating multiplier effect on the working people and their families.
“Increase in electricity tariffs without proper consultation and consideration of the effect of COVID-19, commensurate electricity supply, non-provision of prepaid meters and other biting economic realities.
“Non-implementation of the negotiated National Minimum Wage by most of the state governments and Federal Government’s inability to create and sustain salary date and calendar to ensure transparency.
“Corruption in government agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Federal Ministry of Health over failure to explain and lack of transparency on how funds received in the fight against COVID-19 was spent, among others.
“Loss of jobs across the industries, high cost of living and, businesses not moving in the light of the effects of COVID-19. Palliatives that never got to those that needed them etc.”