President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, has expressed strong reservations about the capacity of Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila to lead a meaningful deliberations on the Panel set up to discuss concrete plan to mitigate the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
Ajaero made the declaration on Tuesday at a meeting with the leadership of the Senate.
The NLC President lamented that the Wage Award Committee set up by by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was yet to meet, two months after it was constituted.
He said:” Part of our challenge is the issue of the committee put in place ,the committee seems not to be capable.
“As Labor we are done with negotiation and engagement with the government from the time of Ufot Ekaette, as Secretary to Government of the Federation, Baba Gana Kingibe, Pius Ayim and Boss Mustapha .
“At no time had the Chief of Staff to the President who is very busy called to negotiate or lead negotiations.
“And that has delayed the issues , even since after our protest , another meeting have not reconvened , although president promised that he will restructure the mechanism of engagement with government to help things to be treated fast.”
” We had agreed on wage award, and up till this moment the committee on wage award is yet to sit .”
He further accused the present administration of indifference to the plight of Nigerian workers as he noted that removal of subsidy was announced without putting palliatives on ground to ameliorate the effect on Nigerians.
Further raising concern on the lack of sincerity on the part of the federal government in its relationship with workers, Ajaero told President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio that while Labour leaders were still deliberating on N537 per liter of fuel and Court had ruled for status quo to remain , the Tinubu administration increased the fuel to N617 per liter.
On the $800 million borrowing to cushion effect of subsidy removal, the NLC President further cautioned the federal government not to use the record used by the past administration in the disbursement of palliatives to Nigerians.
” Nothing is yet to happen on the issue of $800million projected to be borrowed, we have not perfected the list of the people who will benefit from it .
“We should not follow the record that was used in 2019 because we’ve our doubts on that record.And no indices have been put forward to dictate those that are termed poor .”
In his response, President of the Senate , God’swill Akpabio commended the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress for their patience. While he acknowledged that President Tinubu had saved N1 trillion from subsidy removal, he declared that over N30 trillion was inherited from the last administration.
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