The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has given the federal government a two-week ultimatum to reach an agreement on negotiations, or else face protests from workers. The TUC expressed dissatisfaction with the slow pace of negotiations and urged the government to come up with harmonized palliatives that can be verified and implemented within an agreed timeframe.
The TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifor, revealed that technical committees have been formed to address various demands by labor, including the deployment of alternatives to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), providing palliatives, and reducing the cost of governance. However, progress has been slow, and the TUC wants action to be expedited.
Osifor emphasized the need for elected leaders to lead by example, especially during the current harsh economic conditions. He urged the government to reduce the cost of governance and curtail excessive spending on benefits for the Executive and Legislative branches. The TUC also raised concerns about the proposed budget for vehicles and welfare packages for National Assembly members.
The TUC stressed the importance of addressing the plight of Nigerian workers and the well-being of the masses, particularly those who are unemployed. They called for measures that would lead to a reduction in the cost of living and advocated for alternative and cheaper energy sources like CNG.
Regarding the upward review of school fees, the TUC advised the government to adopt gradual fee adjustments to avoid imposing unbearable financial burdens on students. Additionally, they called for the scrapping of new excise duties on goods, which contribute to inflation and rising food prices in the country.
The TUC urged the government to implement policies that would support the country’s exchange rate and help improve the economy’s performance. If the government fails to make substantial progress on the negotiations by August 19, the TUC is prepared to take further actions to protect workers and the masses from prolonged hardship.
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