Rivers state council of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, yesterday, rejected Wednesday’s removal of fuel subsidy and hike in fuel price by the Federal Government, warning that the action would worsen the hardship and poverty level in the country.
State TUC, in a statement by its Chairman, Hyginus Onuegbu, insisted that the introduction of deregulations without appropriate legal framework and the fixing of outrageous prices for petroleum products at a time when Nigerians were passing through excruciating economic hardship was the most insensitive decision any government could have taken.
He said: “We want to state very clearly that every country in the world has one form of subsidy or the other. So the issue is not about subsidy but how it is managed, the costs and benefits of the subsidy to the country.
“Moreover, a good percentage of the figures being bandied around as cost of fuel subsidy is actually the cost of corruption in the fuel subsidy management process.
The removal of subsidy is therefore, more about transferring the burden of the payment for the corruption in the subsidy scheme from the government to the ordinary people.
“We restate our rejection of the removal of subsidy as aforementioned and look forward to an emergency National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of TUC on this and other burning issues such as the continued disobedience of court orders on the 45 percent hike in electricity tariff. We also appeal to the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to also summon its NEC meeting as this is clearly a national emergency.”