Subsidy Removal: Reverse to status quo, TUC tells FG

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By Michael Oche

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has condemned the federal government’s hasty decision to removal subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol while discussions are still ongoing with Organised Labour and other stakeholders.

Comrade Festus Osifo, TUC President, therefore asked the Federal Government to revert to status quo its decision to remove fuel subsidy, which has seen the retail price jump from N185 per litre to N537 per litre.

The TUC made this position known while addressing journalists at the end of an emergency meeting of the congress’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Friday in Abuja.

According to Osifo, the Congress is unhappy with the unilateral decision of the Federal Government to remove the subsidy.

He said the TUC’s expectation was that the government should have engaged Organised labour.

“Having noted this, we wish to state that the NEC-in- session resolved that discussions with Federal Government should continue while demanding that the government should revert to the status quo ante.

“The status quo ante should be maintained while discussions continue as we had a meeting with the government on Wednesday.

“During that discussion, they gave us a list of all the things they would do and they also demanded to know our thinking and what we are putting up.

“We told them the lists of the things we want to put forward, we will not submit them now but put them forward to our organs, to discuss and seek a mandate from them of the things we can put forward,’ ‘he said.

According to Osifo, it is how the government reacts to TUC’s demands that will determine the union’s next line of action.

“We will wait till Sunday when we will meet with the representatives of the government.

“Once we are done with that meeting then the TUC is going to put its demands forward, it is how they react to those demands that will determine our next line of action, ”he said.