THE organised Labour yesterday said the Federal Government team led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, was not capable of leading negotiations on the effects of fuel subsidy removal on workers.
The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, stated this at a meeting between the leadership of the organized labour and the Senate principal officers led by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.
He said the wage review committee was yet to sit two months after the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria.
He said, “Part of our challenge is the issue of the committee put in place. The committee seems not to be capable. As labour, we have done negotiations with previous administrations.
“At no time had the Chief of Staff to the President, who is very busy, called to negotiate or lead negotiations, and that has delayed the issues.
“Even since our protest, another meeting has not reconvened, although the president promised that he will restructure the mechanism of engagement with the government for issues to be treated fast.”
“We had also agreed on wage award, and up till this moment, the committee on wage award is yet to sit.”
Ajaero lamented the plight of Nigerians as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy without putting anything on the ground to ameliorate the effect on the masses.
He said while labour leaders were still deliberating on N537 per litre of fuel and the court had ruled for the status quo to remain, surprisingly the government decided to increase the fuel to N620 per litre.
He added: “Nothing is yet to happen on the issue of $800 million projected to be borrowed, we have not perfected the list of the people who will benefit from it.
“We should not follow the record that was used in 2019 because we have our doubts about that record. And no indices have been put forward to dictate those that are termed poor,” he said.
Responding, Akpabio thanked labour leaders for their patience.
He said although the government had saved N1 trillion as a result of fuel subsidy removal, the present administration inherited a broke country with over N30 trillion debt.
“But be rest assured that effect of fuel subsidy removal being felt by workers and in fact Nigerians would be ameliorated very soon by the federal government,” Akpabio said.