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HomeMetro NewsSubsidy removal: Abiodun mulls palliatives for workers, meets labour leaders

Subsidy removal: Abiodun mulls palliatives for workers, meets labour leaders

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Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, met with labour leaders in the state on Tuesday, saying that his administration is looking into ways of cushioning the hardship imposed on the people as a result of the removal of fuel subsidies by the Federal Government.

Speaking in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, while meeting the labor leaders, the governor acknowledged that the subsidy removal would have an effect on Nigerians, especially the disposable income earners.

The governor promised that his administration would look into ways of ameliorating the impact of the subsidy removal on the residents of the state.

“I called this meeting so that we can rob minds to find different options in view of the recently announced and long-awaited deregulation of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“We are not, as a responsible administration, unmindful of the consequences that the regulation would cause in terms of its effect on the disposable income of the workers.

“We have noted that the price of petrol is now N500 from slightly above N200. There is a relationship between the cost of PMS and transportation, and between the cost of transportation and the cost of goods and services.

“Since the announcement, as the governor and a player in the industry, I have been concerned about the multiplier effects as it would affect workers going to and from work and how it would affect their responsibilities and wellbeing,” Abiodun noted.

The Governor said it was imperative that both the government and the labor leaders sit down and come up with implementable options that make life bearable to the people, adding, however, that the options should not be seen as compensation for the increase in the price of products but to reduce the impact.

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“What was obtained in the past was that N4 trillion was spent annually. We had to borrow the money to subsidize our energy costs, and it was not efficiently utilized. Our petrol made its way to Cameroun, Benin Republic, Togo, and other West African countries around us.

“We are confident that with this action, we can know the true consumption of PMS in Nigeria, and the savings can be used for other sectors for the benefit of our people,” he said.

Prince Abiodun observed that though the subsidy removal was a hard decision on the part of President Tinubu, it was imperative as there was no budgetary allocation for it as of June 2023.

Briefing newsmen later, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Hameed Benco Ademola, said the meeting was called at the request of the governor to find ways of cushioning the effect of the deregulation on civil servants and those in the informal sector.

Comrade Ademola disclosed that the meeting was divided into committees, with Thursday this week as the reporting date.

He commended the governor for showing concern about the plight of workers in the state, saying the gesture would go a long way in meeting their needs.

Those present at the meeting were the chairman and secretaries of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Joint Negotiation Council (JNC).

Also at the meeting were the Head of Service, Kolawole Fagbohun, and the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Establishment and Training, Lydia Fajounbo.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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