Nigeria’s President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan, urged the organised labour to abort the planned protests against the Federal government’s proposed removal of fuel subsidy, stating the move is unnecessary as there is not going to be a removal of subsidy.
The Senate President disclosed this on Monday after a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva over the planned removal of subsidy on petroleum products by the Federal Government.
He also revealed that although the administration and management of subsidy on petroleum products is flawed, the FG believes sufficient planning must be carried out before its eventual removal.
What the senate president said:
Calling on Labour unions such as the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union to shelve the planned protest rallies, adding that the Federal Government has no plan of removing the petroleum subsidy now, he said:
“The position of everyone in government today is that admittedly, subsidy administration and management are flawed because of so many reasons.”
“Admittedly, the burden is huge and massive and there is a need at one point to do away with the subsidy.
“A lot of us in this administration believe that the issue of removal of subsidy should be handled with the utmost care, especially that sufficient planning needs to be done.
He added that significant arrangements for absorbing the shocks that will come with the removal should be done, and the timing should be such that the impact and consequences will not add to hardship.
He said the FG believes that this is not the time, citing that “All of us are of the same opinion and, therefore, there is nothing like confusion or lack of understanding within the government circle.
“We all agree that the subsidy is abused and, therefore, it is a challenge to us as an administration to deal with the abuse, to find appropriate means of stopping it.
“After this meeting, there will be other ones, all in search of ways and means of ensuring that the ordinary Nigerian does not suffer any hardship when the subsidy will be removed eventually.
“I am taking this opportunity to appeal to the TUC and NLC to shelve this plan to go on strike or demonstration, it is totally unnecessary.
“There is not going to be a removal of subsidy, so there is no need for this. Please, let’s not create unnecessary tension where there should be none.”
He appealed to Organised Labour to please forget about this January 27, 2022, deadline because there is no need for any deadline.
Recall Naiaremtrics reported earlier that Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has revealed that the Federal Government has postponed the take-off of the policy till further notice.
She said: “We, therefore, need to return to the National Assembly to now amend the budget and make additional provision for the subsidy from July 22 to whatever period that we agreed was suitable for the commencement of the total removal.’’