In light of the economic pains caused by the removal of fuel subsidies, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed frustration over a seeming lack of effort on the part of the Federal Government to meet its demands.
Hours after Monday’s deadlocked meeting with government officials to avert an indefinite strike, NLC President Joe Ajaero spoke out over the government’s refusal to budge on several issues, in an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
Among its demands are to address the consequences of petrol price hikes, review the minimum wage, provide a workable roadmap to the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) alternative, fix the country’s refineries, and pay lecturers’ salary arrears.
“They have not made any efforts on any issue,” Ajaero asserted.
“Even the issue as simple as cash transfer or bringing buses on the road, nothing has happened to them. So, it’s a lack of willingness and we can’t muddle up all these issues.
“Then you call a minimum wage as wage award. If anybody is looking at the issue of wage award as minimum wage, then there’s confusion within that class of people.”
Citing a 2021 agreement on CNG vehicles reached with the then Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, the labour leader argued it was clear that a million vehicles could be converted within three months.
Ajaero decried the Federal Government’s 2024 projection to deploy CNG buses for a more affordable mass transit system.
“If anybody is telling you that until next year, nothing could be done, I’m telling you that the person is not telling us the truth,” he said.
“What is so peculiar about next year when these processes will start? Is it that there are no CNG vehicles that can onto the road, or we can’t have some stations, even with IPMAN saying that their filling stations are available?”