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NLC blows hot on fuel subsidy, price increase, minimum wage, power tariff, toll gates

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Image: Comrade Ayuba Wabba

*Threatens to embark on total strike in such eventuality

Communiqué issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress at the end of its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held at the Paschal Bafyau Labour House, on 22nd December, 2015

Introduction

The Central Working Committee of the Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC] met today, Tuesday, December 22, at the Paschal Bafyau Labour House.  The CWC, after exhaustive deliberation, observed that:

Removal of Fuel Subsidy or Fuel Price Increase

CWC noted the discordant tunes coming out from different quarters, including Government on fuel subsidy removal and pump price increase.

CWC further noted that in other countries, products prices are falling as a result of the continuing crash in the price of crude oil in the International market. In our country CWC is shocked that we are canvassing for price increase.

CWC therefore re-affirmed its opposition to any price increase. It therefore resolved to mobilize Nigerian to resist any increase.

Minimum Wage

The Central Working Committee (CWC) observed that:

There have been discordant tunes from State Governors on the issue of the National Minimum Wage.  Whereas, at one moment, they deny that there are plans to reduce the minimum wage, at another moment, they threaten to sack workers or reduce the minimum wage;

The National Minimum Wage of N18,000 has been rendered valueless by the mindless devaluation of the Naira and rising inflation.  Moreover, it is legally due for a review;

It is a national law which no governor can unilaterally review.

In the light of the above, the CWC resolved to:

Oppose any attempt by any governor to reduce or tamper with the minimum wage

Mobilise all members of the Congress to any state that reviews downward the minimum wage or resorts to laying off workers.

Electricity Tariff Increase

•         A 45% upward increase in electricity Tariff at this point in time with the challenges in the economy, which have adversely reduced the purchasing power of ordinary Nigerians and slowed down businesses, including manufacturing, is not justifiable.

•         The Distribution companies have continued to exploit Nigerians by estimated billing systems for the majority of consumers, while deliberately refusing to make pre-paid metres available.

•         It is clear therefore that the 45% Tariff increase is an additional heavy burden on consumers and will have a telling effect on business especially manufacturing.

•         CWC, therefore resolved to, 

Reject the Tariff increase

Demand that prepaid metres be made available free to all consumers.

Re Introduction of Toll Gates

The CWC noted with disappointment, the plan of government to re-introduce toll gates on our highways and roads.

Recalling the enormous public resources expended in the past on the construction and demolition of toll gates, CWC observed that the proceeds from toll collection were never effectively deployed for the maintenance of roads, but lined the pockets of favoured collectors.

Convinced that proceeds from any new toll collections will suffer the same fate, CWC disagrees with the 

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni           Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson

President                           General Secretary

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