NLC to FG: Your Palliatives Will Reward the Rich, Impoverish the Poor -NLC
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the federal government to review the proposed N8,000 to 12 million household palliative.
Last week, President Bola Tinubu asked the Senate to approve a borrowing request of $800 million.
With this, the federal government intends to transfer N8,000 per month to 12 million poor and low-income households for a period of six months, with a multiplier effect on about 60 million individuals.
President Tinubu said the palliative would help to cushion the effects of the petrol subsidy removal on the poor masses.
However, reacting to the development in a statement on Tuesday, Joe Ajaero, NLC president, said the federal government had refused to make proper “stakeholder consultation on weighty matters of state”.
According to Ajaero, the government had rather made decisions that had “impoverished the people further”.
“It is on this basis that the NLC strongly condemns the decision of the Tinubu-led administration to seek the approval of the national assembly to obtain another tranche of external loans worth N500 billion from the World Bank,” Ajaero said.
“This is for the purposes of carrying out a phantom palliative measure to cushion the effect of its poorly thought-out hike in the prices of premium motor spirit (PMS).
“The proposal to pay N8,000 to each of the so-called 12 million poorest Nigerian households for a period of six months insults our collective intelligence and makes a mockery of our patience and abiding faith in social dialogue which the government may have alluded to albeit pretentiously.
“The further proposal to pay national assembly members the sum of N70 billion and the judiciary N36 billion is the most insensitive, reckless and brazen diversion of our collective patrimony into the pockets of public officers whose sworn responsibility it is to protect our nation’s treasury.
“We believe that this may amount to hush money and outright bribery of the other arms of government to acquiesce to the aberration.
“It is unconscionable that a government that has foisted so much hardship on the people within nearly two months of coming into office will make a proposal that clearly rewards the rich in public office to the detriment of the poor.
“What this means all this while is that the government is seeking ways of robbing the very poor Nigerians so that the rich can become richer.
“These proposals are not just unacceptable to Nigerian workers but are also dictatorial and thus undemocratic. It is not a product of social dialogue which would have produced collectively negotiated outcomes by critical national stakeholders.
“We do not want to provide a cover for the government to get away with the hardship it has imposed on the people. We do not want to legitimize impunity.” Labour said.
The NLC further stated: “if the government does not want to stop these fortuitous actions that it go is pursuing in the name of palliatives, we will be forced to constructively review our engagement with the government on this vexatious issue and take matters into our own hands”.