The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have vowed to kick against any move by the government to inflict further hardship on Nigerian workers through the removal of subsidy from petroleum products.
Both chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday passed the 2015 appropriation bill without allocating any money for subsidy payment, a clear indication that government was preparing for full scale removal of subsidy on petroleum products.
The Deputy President of the NLC and chairman of the joint May Day celebration of the NLC and TUC, Comrade Peter Adeyemi, told journalists that organised Labour believes that government has never subsidised petroleum products.
Instead, he said the bane of the sector has been corruption, pointing out that past governments tried without success to address the issue, saying they don’t have the mandate to support the removal of petroleum products.
He said: “If you are asking whether we will back the removal of fuel subsidy, the answer is no. It is not as easy as that. You know that it has been a very contentious issue over the years. We have always said that there is nothing like subsidy. It is all about corruption.
“Let me take your mind back and say that this same issue has been something that numerous government have embarked upon without an end. During the Olusegun Obasanjo’s government, this exercise was embarked upon by the government about 11 times and both the NLC and the TUC engaged the government.
“So, it is like the more you look, the less you see. For us in Labour, we are not going to support that because it is outside our mandate as leaders. We hope that the incoming government, in a desperate bid to look for money, will not look for money in the wrong place”.