We will shut down the nation if FG go ahead with fuel price hike-NULGE President, Ambali - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Friday, November 26, 2021

We will shut down the nation if FG go ahead with fuel price hike-NULGE President, Ambali

Comr. Akeem Ambali, NULGE National President

The national President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Comr. Akeem Ambali has said that the labour movement across the federation will not hesitate to shut down the country should federal government go ahead with the reported proposed removal of fuel subsidy which will make a litre of petrol sell for N320.

Speaking with journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Friday, Comr. Akeem Ambali said that it was quite unfortunate that the federal government is toiling with such unpopular policy that would further impoverish Nigerians and make life difficult for them.

The labour leader said it is even ridiculous and so callous that a government that finds it difficult to pay N30,000 minimum wage is now talking of selling petrol at N320 per litre explaining that it was about time the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government stop taking Nigerians for a ride.

Ambali disclosed that "Labour consider this proposed fuel hike as a dangerous rumour, a government that has find it difficult to implement N30,000 minimum wage and with so much poverty in the land will not wake up one day and say the next thing to do is to increase the fuel price to 320 or say that it want to remove subsidy. 

"Labour movement won't tolerate any policy that will continue to make life miserable and hard for our people. We are definitely going to resist this and force the government to abandon it. If government is serious about removing the fuel subsidy, then minimum wage in Nigeria should not be less than N100,000. 

"If the government say it must remove the subsidy, what palliative have they put in place to cushion the effect of prices of so many things that will go up? What kind of social protection is there for the vulnerable? The retirees are there who have waited for years to collect their gratuities, the army of unemployed Nigerian youths are there too.

"I don't believe the present administration want to ignite unnecessary crisis again with this kind of unpopular policy. I also don't believe that the federal government is also deliberately doing this to play on the intelligence of Nigerians but if they do the labour will rise to the occasion.

"The Central Working Committee of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) of which I am a member is meeting by December and the matching order we shall be rolling out to the leadership of the country is that once we can smell anything relating to prices of fuel going up, we won't hesitate to shut down the country.

"It is unfortunate that we are still having issues with non implementation of minimum wage. Whereas, these governors with their humongous monthly salaries and allowances have refused to owe themselves but to pay paltry N30,000 minimum wage is a challenge. 

"So it is not the capacity to pay that is not there but many of these governors lack the strong political will to do what is right, every state can pay the minimum wage. 

"The 30,000 is even no longer the minimum wage but slave wage, look at the inflationary trend, see how much a dollar goes for naira now, see how Nigerians are dying from minor ailments because they don't have money to treat themselves, the economy is bad, the nation is drifting and rather than see how to work round all these challenges, the next thing is to be talking on fuel increment. 

"Why can't the government explore the alternative of modular refineries if some boys are doing it in the Niger Delta and getting result and if that is in impossible, can't the government build a new refinery after all, some principals of this government promised to get all this fixed while campaigning. 

"I don't think our President, Muhammadu Buhari being a compassionate father will want to add to the burden of Nigerians again with this rumoured possible hike in fuel price. This is about the only thing that I can say Nigerians are enjoying, sometimes ago, this government even told us that they have removed subsidy, so how many times are they going to remove subsidy?  I sincerely believe that the President won't allow this wicked thought to sail through".

The NULGE Chairman has however lauded the governor of his home state, Prince Dapo Abiodun for remaining committed to improve on the plight of the workers' welfare with the recent release of N2bn to offset backlog of deductions from workers' cooperative as well as another N1bn to offset part of the accumulated gratuities for the retirees.

Ambali lauded the governor for his massive investment in infrastructural development as well as for improving on the Internally Generated Revenue of the state.

He has however appealed that as means of appreciating the the state work force that has cooperated and worked diligently towards achieving the visions and missions of building our future together agenda of the present administration, Gov Dapo Abiodun should consider giving the workers 13 month salary in December to seal the celebration of Christmas and New Year.

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