The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed its disapproval of the N500 billion request by President Bola Tinubu for palliatives for Nigerians to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.
In his request to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the President stated that it became imperative given the need for the federal government to make things easier for citizens who are on the receiving end of the negative impact of the subsidy removal.
Kicking against the move, NLC National Treasurer Hakeem Ambali who spoke with Punch in an interview, stated that the amount would not be enough to cater for the needs of 125 million Nigerians who are reportedly impoverished.
Responding to a question on whether the N500 billion would be enough, Ambali said, “Definitely not. We have over 125 million Nigerians that are technically poor. To what extent can this cushion the effects of this economic hardship?”
On ways to mitigate the hardship in the country, he asked for a “Minimum wage review of 300 per cent to all workers; granting licences to individuals for modular refineries to refine petrol locally; granting economic stimulus loan to SMEs at 15 per cent rate.”
“The government should provide social benefits for aged and unemployed youths; agric loans to farmers and youths through the Agric Bank and community banks at single digit rate; provide alternative energy supply such as massive investment in solar power and Compressed Natural Gas to motorists.
“Fix the refineries; reverse the privatization of electricity back to the state due to poor performance; Execute metro rail line projects in all state capitals and reduction of school fees for students of tertiary institutions”, he added.