The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has countered President Bola Tinubu over the claim that N1 trillion has been saved since his government stopped the payment of fuel subsidy.
In a nationwide broadcast on Monday, the president had said a total of N1 trillion had been saved since subsidy payment was stopped.
“In a little over two months, we have saved over a trillion Naira that would have been squandered on the unproductive fuel subsidy which only benefitted smugglers and fraudsters. That money will now be used more directly and more beneficially for you and your families,” he had said.
But speaking during the ongoing nationwide protest of labour, Comrade Joe Ajaero, NLC President, said the committee that the Federal Government set up to negotiate with the unions disclosed that not a single kobo had been saved since subsidy was removed.
Ajaero spoke when he alongside Festus Osifo of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), led protesters to the national assembly complex on Wednesday.
“Mr President talked about N1trillion saved. The committee where we meet, they told us that no one kobo has been saved so far. Therefore, we have not agreed on what to pay anywhere,” he said.
During his inaugural speech on May 29, President Tinubu had announced the removal of fuel subsidy, leading to increase in the price of petrol from N195 to N540 per litre.
Earlier this month, the price was increased to N617 per litre.
Daily Trust reports that the increase in petrol prices has already led to a hike in the prices of goods. Worst affected are foodstuff and transportation.
Nigerians have been lamenting the effect of subsidy removal on their lives, but the Tinubu administration has repeatedly promised relief.
Earlier this month when he hosted class of 1999 Governors, the President appealed for more patience from Nigerians.
He assured Nigerians that the framework for palliatives to remedy the effects of fuel subsidy removal was being worked out.
“I understand that our people are suffering yet there can be no childbirth without pain. The joy of childbirth is the relief that comes after the pain. Nigeria is reborn already with fuel subsidy removal. It is a rebirth of the country for the largest number over a few smugglers. Please tell the people to be a little patient.
“The palliative is coming. I don’t want cash-transfer to fall into wrong hands. I know it pinches and it is difficult. In the end, we will rejoice in the prosperity of our country,’’ he had told the governors, who were led by former Governor of Edo State, Lucky Igbinedion.
Tinubu had earlier written to the House of Representatives to seek an amendment to the 2023 supplementary appropriation act to accommodate N500 billion for provision of palliatives for Nigerians.
The parliament subsequently approved the request.