Menu Close

Subsidy Blues: Workers cry out over N30,000 Minimum Wage, welfare, productivity

*The Nigerian workers, under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies and Trade Union Congress have expressed concerns over the potential overarching effects of fuel subsidy removal on their welfare, productivity and contributions to national development

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

A section of the Nigerian workers under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government-Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have expressed concerns over the removal of fuel subsidy in the West African country.

The workers observed the potential overarching implication of the subsidy regime will tell on the well-being of the labour force, their productivity and contributions to national development.

ConsumerConnect reports the current National Minimum Wage in Nigeria is N30,000, the amount which some states in the Federation reportedly have yet to pay their workers till this day.

Both unions said Nigerian workers might not survive the effect of fuel subsidy removal amid receiving this minimum wage.

Surajudeen Alakija, President-General of SSASCGOC, who doubles as the Deputy President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), also emphasised the importance of stakeholders’ engagement before the Federal Government began the implementing such a decision.

Alakija, who stated this at the Quadrennial Delegates Conference of Maritime Branch, noted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pronouncement in his inauguration address Monday, May 29, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, had already resulted in a series of events, including the introduction of new pump prices by the NNPC Limited.

The labour leader questioned the fate of subsidy payments already made between now and June 30 this year.

He, therefore, urged the Federal Government to engage workers towards cushioning the effects of the subsidy removal on the workers, and Nigerian consumers in general.

Transparency of fuel subsidy regime?

Alakija as well criticised alleged the lack of transparency surrounding the fuel subsidy era, referring to the regime as a scam.

He highlighted the absence of information about who actually receive these subsidy payments, and the substantial annual amounts involved, Leadership report said.

Though he acknowledged the need for subsidy removal in Nigeria, Alakija yet shared a personal experience of purchasing fuel at an exorbitant price of N540 per litre of petrol, amounting to N10,800 for 20 litres.

The President-General of SSASCGOC also contrasted his recent experience with the minimum wage in Nigeria, which stands at N30,000, equating to less than $50 at the current exchange rate.

The need for stakeholders’ engagements on fuel subsidy economy

Alakija also wondered how the average Nigerian could survive under such circumstances.

He called for a roundtable discussion with stakeholders and the government to address the impact of subsidy removal on Nigerians.

Alakija further referenced the recent deadlock in the meeting between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Government’s officials, expressing discomfort with the approach taken in the negotiations.

According to him, there is a need for a roundtable discussion among the key stakeholders to find a viable solution, incorporating statistical data, facts and figures to determine what is achievable in the economy.

He urged the authorities that no workers should be sacrificed in the process, while highlighting the need to strike a balance between national development and workers’ welfare.

In the same vein, Abdullahi Abubakar, outgoing President of SSASCGOC, said the removal will have an effect on Nigerians as it affects all homes.

Kindly Share This Story




Kindly share this story