The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, says the N5 billion approved for each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to cushion the impact of fuel subsidy removal is inadequate to impact on the people.
Ajaero, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, said that if calculated, the N5bn will not amount to N1,500 per person.
According to him, it is unclear whether the money is a loan or a palliative to the states or to Nigerians.
“But whichever might be the case, let’s assume that it is palliative; you would agree that it is difficult to feel the impact of such an amount at a time like this.
“The [National] Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has come out to say that over 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor. You start to wonder about the impact of N185 billion to 133 million people by their admittance.
“And from the time this report was released and now, in fact, the first increase in the pump price of petroleum products and the last one, moved a lot of people from the borderline to a very high level of poverty.
“Now if you calculate it, you will discover that this will not translate to N1,500 per person and you ask: is that the impact? Is that really what we want to achieve? Let’s assume it’s a loan. What is really going to happen? Is it garbage in, garbage out?
“If it is N5 billion, I think the organised labour would want anybody to do the calculation and tell us how it is going to impact Nigerians on what is happening currently. If it is a loan then it is too bad,” the NLC President said.
Speaking after the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday, Governor Babagana Zulum said the state governors are to use part of the money from the Federal Government to procure 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize, and fertilizers.
He noted that 52 per cent of the funds were given to the state governments as grants with 48 per cent as loans.