- Says Nigerians Cannot Bear the Burden Any Longer, as It Issues 7-Day Ultimatum
THE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has issued a 7-day nationwide strike and protest notice to the federal government to reverse the recent increment in the price of petrol and electricity tariff.
The TUC, in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari dated 13th September 2020 and made available to National Record, stated that there is a gradual and steady annihilation of Nigerians by the policies and actions of the Buhari government.
In the letter entitled; “We Cannot Bear the Burden Any Longer, Issuance of Seven Days Ultimatum!” and signed by its President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, and Secretary General, Comrade (Barr) Musa Lawal, the TUC outlined some of the policies it said has induced the hardship annihilating Nigerians to include the recent increase in the price of petrol, increase in electricity tariff, non-provision of prepaid electricity metres, and the non-implementation of the new national minimum wage by most state governments.
The TUC also accused the Buhari government of condoning corruption in some government agencies and establishments 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.”
While noting that petrol price increase “has a devastating multiplier effect on the working people and their families,” it also accused the Buhari government of insensitivity for failing to engage in “proper consultation and consideration of the effect of COVID-19” when it unilaterally increased electricity tariff.
According to the TUC as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, job are being lost across industries as businesses are not doing well while costs of living continue to go high. It also accused the government of mismanaging the covid-19 palliatives as they programme failed to reach “those that needed them.”
As a result of all these inadequacies, the TUC said its organs at their various meetings therefore resolved and demand that the federal government should within 7 days “reverse the hike in prices as it affects [sic] Electricity, petrol and all other social services in the country” to the pre-increment prices.
The labour centre is also demanding that the Buhari government should take steps to “provide adequate and quality healthcare and education for all to save the poor and the vulnerable at all levels,” as it emphasised that ordinary Nigerians “CAN NO LONGER BEAR THE BURDEN OF THESE AVOIDABLE PROBLEMS” [Its emphasis].
“These demands are made in good faith, and to save the dying masses and the vulnerable in society. In the event of not showing empathy for this class of people by adhering to the above demands, we shall, together with our civil society [organisations] and allies, sympathetic to the suffering masses of our people commence and indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday 23rd September 2020,” the TUC stated.