The organised labour has expressed dissatisfaction with the move by the federal government to channel the N5 Billion palliative through each state governor for the purpose of cushioning the negative impact of the fuel subsidy removal.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), insisted that the governors could not be trusted and that politicians and not the poor would benefit from the N5 billion largess given to each state government for disbursement to the citizens.
The Federal Government yesterday, August 17, announced a N5 billion palliative for each state of the federation and 180 trucks of rice as part of measures to assuage the pains of the subsidy removal.
Reacting to the government’s interventions, the Assistant National Secretary-General of the NLC, Chris Onyeka, wondered why the federal government would be releasing money to governors, many of whom he said had refused to pay the minimum wage.
He dismissed the palliative fund as paltry, saying that it would not get to the intended beneficiaries.
“The money will not get to the people, let them share the money as they want but what the NLC agreed with them were certain milestones. The NLC will not close its eyes to what the Federal Government is trying to give to the governors.
“As far as we are concerned, NLC will still stick to the milestones that we have agreed on, we will insist that those things are discussed and implemented to the letter.
“When the Federal Government wants to subvert the instrument of dialogue, it intentionally creates problems. The Federal Government had already started engaging using this instrument when they engaged the NLC; for them now to go and sit down at the level of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and to go and pretend to give them money is a subversion of social dialogue, subversion of peace, and a subversion of democracy because it is not democratic.”
This was even as the TUC Deputy National President, Tommy Etim stressed that governors could not be trusted with the implementation of the palliative funds.
“It is one thing to make pronouncements, implementation is another thing. I am sure you remember what happened to the COVID-19 palliatives in 2020 when foodstuffs were stored in warehouses and kept from hungry citizens. Same thing with the issue of the Paris Club relief fund that some governors went to hide in the bank so that they could get some from it while citizens were starving.”