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ASCSN to FG : Labour’s N615,000 minimum wage proposal realistic

.Unmask cabals behind fuel scarcity

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UFOMBA UZUEGBU

 

Echoes of the raging debate on an ideal living wage for Nigerian workers reverberated Monday in Lagos, when the President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN),Comrade Tommy Etim Okon, maintained that the proposed N615,000 national minimum wage by Labour is a realistic demand.

He  urged the Federal Government, to unmask alleged cabals behind the  unending fuel scarcity across the country.

Okon, who spoke during the Association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos, challenged those opposing Labour’s demand, to make public their proposals, saying “we have set the templates, we have done the variables, and we have presented our demand. That is our position. There are exemptions and when the time comes, we will see. What we want is for the government to do the needful  and remember that by  the time we came up with the figure there was no hike in electricity tarriff”.

On the perennial fuel scarcity and long queues at filling stations, Okon who is a Deputy President of the Trade Union  Congress of Nigeria (TUC), lamented that they are holding down the economy and exacerbating the suffering, hardship and difficulties confronting Nigerians, especially workers.

According to him, the one-week ultimatum given on May Day by the NLC and TUC on the reversal of the recent hike in electricity still persists, saying Labour is very serious about the ultimatum.

Dr Okon said :” Organized labour is very disturbed that the Port Harcourt Refinery would begin operations in April and also when  Dangote Refinery begins operation, all the challenges on landing cost of petrol to marketers would stop  and the issue of subsidy would be a thing of the past, have not materialized. This  is May, why are we still going back and forth ? This is a policy somersault and this is bad. The government or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, NNPCL, should come out clean and tell us the truth. Are they still paying subsidies ? Let it come out from their (government) mouth and let us know rather than speculating.

“If organized labour had protested and stood  against the removal of fuel subsidy, they would have said labour has caused the fuel scarcity. otherwise there would not have been long queues at filling stations. Now, the government said it is logistics problem and the marketers are talking of huge dollars debt unpaid to them. Who is fooling who ?President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assured us that when fuel subsidy is removed, there would be an inter play of market forces but now, we are even returning to square one. We call on the government to unearth the cabals behind the unending fuel scarcity”.

 

 

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