Account For Gains Already Made From Fuel Subsidy Removal, Trade Union Congress Tells FG

Festus Osifo, the president of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Wednesday asked the federal government to account for the funds generated through the removal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.

In July, President Tinubu said the Nigerian government had saved more than N1 trillion following the removal of petrol subsidy.

Tinubu said the revenue saved would be used for the benefit of Nigerians.

“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,” Tinubu said.

Tinubu’s decision to remove subsidy on petrol, leading to the full deregulation of Nigeria’s oil sector has resulted in hikes in fuel prices from around N190 to about N600 per litre.

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However, Osifo while speaking on the matter during an interview on AriseTV on Wednesday, asked where the money saved since the removal of petrol subsidy went to.

Osifo explained that since the government announced that N1 trillion had been saved, there was no reason for the government to continue to borrow money.

“The President and commander in chief on its own came and said the country has saved N1 trillion. The Federal Government went everywhere to announce that if subsidy is removed, it’s going to save substantial money,” Osifo said.

“And so, we don’t expect them to go everywhere and start borrowing money. They told us they are going to save money. So where is the money that you have saved and how have they deployed this money?”

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The TUC and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Tuesday resolved to begin an indefinite nationwide strike starting from October 3, 2023.

The labour unions and the government had failed to reach an agreement on the best way to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal and the attendant hardship in the country on Nigerians.

Following Tuesday’s separate virtual National Executive Council meetings, the unions resolved to commence the strike on October 3 and urged Nigerians to stock up on food supplies for at least one week.

The three-week ultimatum which was given by the NLC to the government expired last week.

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