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Subsidy: Labour intensifies mobilisation for protests



  • Planned action unnecessary, says Fed Govt

  • What govt should do, by TUC

The Organised Labour has intensified consultations ahead of its Thursday nationwide rallies against the proposed removal of petroleum products subsidy.

Its Deputy President, Joe Ajaero, told The Nation at the weekend that letters had been sent to heads of the over 50 affiliates and state councils of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) asking them to host strategic meetings today on how to make the rallies successful.

He also said leaders of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in support of the protests had been briefed on the activities planned for that day.

But the Federal Government last night faulted the planned rallies because it was yet to take a final decision on subsidy.

The National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had recommended an increase in the pump price of fuel from N162.50 to N302 per litre.

The recommendation followed the report of a NEC ad-hoc committee interfacing with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the appropriate pricing of petroleum products in the country.

Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule had, after Wednesday’s NEC meeting in Abuja, announced that the Federal Government would stop petroleum products subsidy payments in June 2022.

Sule clarified that governors, who are members of NEC, have no role to play in determining the prices of petroleum products.


He added that with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in place, the decision on the new price regime belonged to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) Limited.

In the interview with The Nation, Ajaero explained that the rallies which will have civil servants and others participating were to sensitise Nigerians on the implications of subsidy removal.

He said: “Nothing stops the rally planned for this week; whether they are removing it (subsidy) tomorrow or next year. The thought of it is not acceptable.

“Mobilisation is high in all the states. We need to sensitise Nigerians. We are through synergy meetings with civil society groups. We are going to states to mobilise workers, civil servants and other Nigerians.

“There is a letter to every person; every affiliate because they took a decision at the National Executive Council meeting. Letters have been sent to state councils on the mode of operation.

“Letters have also been sent to all the people that will coordinate each state who are coming from the National Administrative Council.

“Labour has been delegated to go to the field from Monday (today) to start holding consultative and preparatory meetings ahead of the protests.

“Civil society groups would go back to their cells and take decisions on how they want to participate.”

But Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige faulted the rallies, saying the government will not stop it from holding.

He described the rallies as unnecessary given the fact the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which according to him, has the final say on whether or not subsidy should be removed, has yet to decide.

“The government has not come out with its own position….All these beats of war, to me, are not necessary,” he told The Nation last night.

He, however, stressed that the government would not stop the rallies since the NLC leadership has failed to understand explanations on why it should sheathe the sword.

His words: “The government has not come out with its position. What the governors are saying is their decision at the Governors’ Forum and they have tabled it to the National Economic Council (NEC) which is an advisory body on economic matters to Mr President.

“All these beats of war, to me, are not necessary. There is an ongoing discussion of two committees. There is the one headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (Boss Mustapha), which is representing the high level of government. I am there.


“Why don’t they wait till we come to that committee meeting? We have not said that (fuel subsidy ending in June) to them.

“It is not a Federal Executive Council decision. So, you cannot call it a full government position for now.

“What the NLC is doing is precautionary; something that should not have been taking place now. It is coming much earlier than it is when it will be necessary.

“The protest is not necessary because they are going ahead with their rallies based on assumptions of the announcement of the Finance Minister (Zainab Ahmed), according to them.

“We are not stopping them. I have held meetings with them and they said it is their right to hold rallies.

“I have explained to them that the issue of fuel subsidy has no government position on it yet.”

Ngige also said the work of the committees on petroleum and electricity tariffs would continue until the recommendations proposed by the committees are adopted.

Also yesterday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Sylva, confirmed that the Federal Government has no immediate plan to discontinue the payment of petrol subsidy.

The minister, who appeared on Channels Television, said talks were still ongoing on the matter with critical stakeholders, including Labour and governors.

According to him, there is a consensus on the inevitability of subsidy removal, “but everybody is mindful of its likely impact.”

Sylva assured that government will continue to subsidise petrol in the foreseeable future until the details, including alternative fuel, have been worked out with Labour and other stakeholders.

“We are looking at all the options for the citizens’ benefits,” the minister said.


The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has listed conditions that the Federal Government should fulfil before removing petroleum products subsidy.

It said the government should first fix the existing refineries, establish new ones, including modular refineries, and ensure effective policing of the nation’ borders to curb smuggling.

These were contained in a communiqué by TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, at the end of the Executive Council meeting of the congress at the weekend.

TUC warned that in the case the Federal Government failed to meet the conditions, its state councils and affiliates should commence mobilisation of their members for industrial action.

The Nation


FRSC receives 316 new operational vehicles from FG



The Federal Road Safety Corps has taken delivery of 316 new vehicles procured by the Federal Government to ease its operations nationwide.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated new vehicles, saying they were for effective patrol of highways across the country.

The 316 operational vehicles are made up of 239 patrol vehicles, 49 ambulances, 23 tow trucks and five patrol bikes.

Mustapha said at the inauguration of the vehicles at the FRSC headquarters that they would be mainly for the patrol of new roads just provided by the Federal Government.

He said the provision of the vehicles was to enhance the operations of the corps and ensure safety of road users across the country.

He said the FG would remain consistent in providing improved transport infrastructure and told the regulatory agencies to live up to expectations.

He said, “Let me use this opportunity to reiterate President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the provision of transport infrastructure.

“This is because he believes that it is a key determinant of performance in any nation’s development and growth process.

“Indeed, investment in transport infrastructure encourages economic impact.”

He urged the corps to sustain its leadership role in Africa in making roads safer for economic growth, adding that the patrol vehicles should be deployed to cover the entire country, as soon as possible, while noting that the vehicles would boost the operations of the FRSC and give it more ambiance to carry out its duties effectively.

Acting Corps Marshal, Dauda Biu, said the vehicles would help to improve the FRSC field operations through the provision of real-time reports and active support as well as backup to field officers.

He assured of proper deployment and utilisation of the vehicles to all locations, for the safety of motorists.

Biu appealed for improved funding of the Corps to enable it to realise its vision of full coverage of all operational commands nationwide.

According to him, the FRSC operational areas comprise 12 zonal commands, 37 sector commands, 223 unit commands, 58 outposts and 527 station offices.

The FRSC Board Chairman, Bukhari Bello, thanked President Buhari for his support to the corps for efficient service delivery.

Representative of the Inspector General of Police Usman Baba, AIG Operations, Bala Ciroma, pledged a harmonious working relationship with the FRSC for effective traffic management in the country.

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JUST IN: Lagos extends okada ban to Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo, Kosofe, Somolu



Lagos State Government has extended its ban on commercial motorcycle (okada) operation to four more local governments, making a total of 10 the number of local government areas where no okada riding will be permitted with effect from September 1.

The government had initially banned okada in six LGAs of the state to curtail the rate of road accidents and crime using motorcycles.

The state government said on Thursday it had added four LGAs and six local community development areas to the list of the routes restricted to okada.

Lagos State Governor, Babajidr Sanwo-Olu, said full enforcement of the ban in the new areas would take effect from September 1, 2022.

The four LGAs and six LCDAs are: Kosofe Local Government (Ikosi-Isherri LCDA

and Agboyi-Ketu LCDA), Oshodi-Isolo Local Government (Isolo LCDA), Shomolu Local Government (Bariga LCDA) and Mushin Local Government (Odi-Olowo LCDA).

Ealier, the state government had restricted the okada riders from operating in Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Apapa local government areas.

With 20 local governments in the state, only 10 LGAs are left for commercial motorcycle operators to do their business.

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No part of Lagos is under any lockdown – Lagos police



The Lagos State Police Command has denied reports that some parts of the state is under a partial lockdown as a preventive measure against security threats.

Spokesman for the command, Benjamin Hundeyin, stated this in a series of tweets on Thursday in a reaction emanating from a Wednesday’s statement credited to the state’s Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi.

Alabi was on Wednesday reported to have said that there was a partial lockdown of the state by security agencies due to the threats of attacks by unknown gunmen.

He was claimed to have said this in Lagos during the state stakeholders’ forum on police accountability quarterly meeting and awards.

But the state PPRO Hundeyin in a response via Twitter said, “@LagosPoliceNG Commissioner of Police, CP Abiodun Alabi, fdc only affirmed that entry and exit points are being closely monitored by security agencies to forestall any security breach in the state.

“He gave this assurance while answering a question bothering on police stop-and-search in some parts of Lagos State. NO PART OF LAGOS IS ON LOCKDOWN, PARTIAL OR TOTAL.

“All residents of Lagos State are enjoined to go about their lawful duties without fear; while remaining vigilant and observing situational awareness at all times.”

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