Despite President Bola Tinubu’s Monday announcement of subsidy removal palliative plans, organized labor has announced it will hold its planned statewide demonstration on Wednesday.
Tinubu announced a N500 billion palliative for manufacturers, small companies, and farmers in a national broadcast. He also announced plans to raise salaries and purchase 3,000 public transport buses.
Notwithstanding the President’s last-minute moves to avert the protest, the Nigeria Labour Congress President, Joe Ajaero, said the rally would hold in line with its schedule.
Ajaero spoke shortly after talks between the organised labour and the Federal Government on Monday became inconclusive. The talk is expected to resume on Tuesday (today).
The Presidential Steering Committee on Palliatives meeting between the government and labour was held at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
“We just adjourned to go and listen to Mr. President’s speech and to continue with our conversation tomorrow (Tuesday). Our peaceful rally will go on as scheduled…this rally has been fixed,” Ajaero told journalists after the meeting.
Ajaero assuaged fears that the nonviolent protest might be hijacked by thugs, claiming that this had never happened in any of its workers’ protests.
However, he said that it was the responsibility of security services to protect workers during such drills.
The steering committee meeting was postponed till Tuesday at 12 p.m.
In response to Tinubu’s economic changes, particularly those concerning the exchange rate and others, Ajaero stated, “By the time you have a single market (exchange rate) and you don’t have anything that has a comparative advantage, your energy is import driven, how are you going to control it?”
“How are you going to control somebody that exchanged dollar at about N900? Are you going to tell him to sell below the price?
“How are you going to tell even the Discos not to increase their tariff with the high cost of production today? Even corn in the villages that was sold at N18,000 in February; now it’s about 56,000. How are you going to control it?”