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Nigeria: Hike in Price of Petrol, Electricity - Labour Issues 7 Days Ultimatum

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged the federal government to reverse the increase in fuel pump price and electricity tariff in the next seven days or face mass action.

TUC in a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigerians "cannot bear the burden any longer."

LEADERSHIP reports that the federal government is billed to meet with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as other civil society organizations (CSOs) today.

But in the letter signed by TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, the labour center said some recent actions of the government had become worrisome to the working class, their families, and the masses.

He listed the actions to include a sudden Increase in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) Products pump price without any definitive and concrete efforts to make the nation's refineries functional, which has a devastating multiplier effect on the working people and their families.

Other actions include an increase in electricity tariffs without proper consultation and consideration of the effect of COVID - 19, and without commensurate electricity supply, non-provision of prepaid meters, and other biting economic realities.

The labour centre also listed part of its grievances to include the non-implementation of the negotiated National Minimum Wage by most of the state governments, and the federal government's inability to create and sustain salary date and calendar to ensure transparency as well as the loss of jobs across the industries, high cost of living and, businesses not moving in the light of the effects of Covid-19.

According to the letter, the TUC at the just concluded meeting of its organs have thus resolved that government should take immediate steps to reverse the hike in prices as it affects electricity, petrol, and all other social services in the country to status quo ante (prior to increase) within seven days; provide adequate and quality healthcare and education for all to save the poor and the vulnerable at all levels.

The letter reads in part, "These demands are made in good faith, and to save the dying masses and the vulnerable in our society. In the event of not showing empathy for this class of people by adhering to above demands, we shall, together with our civil societies and allies, sympathetic to the suffering masses of our people commence an indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday 23rd September 2020."

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