Subsidy withdrawal: Abiodun meets labour leaders, pledges palliatives for workers
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Tuesday met with labour leaders in the state, saying that his administration is looking into ways of cushioning the hardship imposed on the people as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
Speaking in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, while meeting the labour leaders, the governor acknowledged that the subsidy removal would have effect on Nigerians, especially the disposable income earners.
The governor promised that his administration would look into ways of ameliorating the impact of the subsidy removal on the residents of the state.
“I called this meeting so that we can rob minds to find different options in view of the recently announced long awaited deregulation of the Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petrol by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We are not, as a responsible administration unmindful of the consequences that the regulation would cause in terms of its effect on the disposable income of the workers.
“We have noted that the price of Petrol is now N500 from slightly above N200. There is a relationship between cost of PMS and transportation and cost of transportation and cost of goods and services.
“Since the announcement, as the governor and a player in the industry, I have been concerned on the multiplier effects as it would affect workers going to and from work and how it would affect their responsibilities and wellbeing,” Prince Abiodun noted.
The Governor said it was imperative that both government and the labour leaders sit and come up with implementable options that make life bearable to the people, adding however that the options should not be seen as compensation for the increase in the price of product, but to reduce the impact.
“What obtained in the past was that N4 trillion was spent annually. We had to borrow the money to subsidize our energy cost and it was not efficiently utilized. Our petrol made their way to Cameroun, Benin Republic, Togo and other West African countries around us.
“We are confident that with this action, we can know the true consumption of PMS in Nigeria and the savings can be used for other sectors for the benefit of our people,” he said.
Prince Abiodun observed that though the subsidy removal was a hard decision on the part of President Tinubu, it was imperative as there was no budgetary allocation for it from June 2023.
Briefing newsmen later, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Hameed Benco Ademola, said the meeting was called at the instant of the governor to find ways of cushioning the effect of the deregulation on civil servants and those in the informal sector
Comrade Ademola disclosed that the meeting was divided into Committees with Thursday this week as the reporting date.
He commended the governor for showing concern about the plight of workers in the State workers, saying the gesture would go a long way in meeting their needs.
Those present at the meeting were chairman and secretaries of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Joint Negotiation Council (JNC).
Also at the meeting were the Head of Service, Mr. Kolawole Fagbohun and the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Establishment and Training, Mrs. Lydia Fajounbo.