From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The organized labour, comprising Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union Congress, TUC in Kano state have on Wednesday joined their counterparts across the nation to stage a protest against fuel subsidy removal and other “anti-masses policies” by President Bola Tinubu.
The protest started when members of the unions converged at the Murtala Muhammad Library at Nassarawa GRA in the Kano metropolis before they embarked on the protest to the government house.
While chanting slogans, members of the union were seeing carrying placards that contained different inscription such as “August 22nd will forever be known as the day we resisted bulaba’s anti-people policies”, “we want N200,000 minimum wage”, “fuel subsidy shouldn’t be removed”, “FG shouldn’t dance to the tune of IMF and World Bank”, among others.
Our reporter observed that after converging at the Murtala Muhammad, the protesters proceeded to the government house, about two kilometers, while chanting aluta slogans in unison.
On reaching the government house, the Chairman of NLC, Kano state branch, Comrade Kabir Inuwa, delivered his address to the mammoth crowd.
In the address, the NLC Chairman called on the Federal Government to immediately reverse “all anti-poor policies”, especially the removal of fuel subsidy, including the recent hike in price of petroleum.
The unions also urged the federal government to immediately commence the repair of Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna refineries.
“The government should release 8 months withheld salaries of university lecturers and workers as well as reverse all tuition fee hike in universities and tertiary institutions.
“The government should put a stop to inhuman actions and policies of government,” he said.
“Nigerians were shocked when the newly sworn in President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, at the Eagle Square, Abuja, announced the removal of subsidy even when subsidy was provided for in the budget till the end of June 2023. At that occasion he said “Subsidy is gone”. This was in clear violation of the Appropriation Act and tantamount to a mob action against the Nigerian people.
“Although some Nigerians thought little of what Mr. President had done, outrage was near unanimous when NNPC announced new pump prices of petroleum motor spirit (pms) a few days later which ranged from N482 to N580 depending on the location, as a consequence of the removal of subsidy.
“Despite the increase in fuel prices, the electricity distribution companies also announced a 40 percent tentative electricity tariff increase. In reaction the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(MAN), swiftly responded by saying this would further cripple their businesses as extant losses already represents 2 per cent of the GDP. Furthermore, MAN made it known that in 2021, it spent over N70 billion on alternative power source. In 2022, the cost doubled that,” the NLC Chairman added.
“The consequence of these thoughtless increases has been sauring cost of food items, transportation, housing and other basic necessities. In some instances, prices have risen as much as 300%, yet no commensurate increase in salaries or wages and credible social protection provision for workers and poor citizens. There was national outcry and anger.”