January 26, 2022

Re: Subsidy: Mobilise For Protests, NLC Directs Affiliates, CSOs

2 min read

By Adewole Kehinde,

“Kenny, have you read that Nigeria Labour Congress has directed its members, affiliate unions, and civil society partners to prepare for the planned January 27 and February 1 nationwide protests against the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government?” That was a message I got from one of the CSOs mobilized by the NLC.

My response was that the Nigeria Labour Congress and its members, affiliate unions, and civil society partners cannot be above the Law because the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 has made it illegal to operate fuel subsidy.

Like I have said in my many articles, it will be a breach of the Constitution for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to subsidize Petroleum after its inauguration as a Limited Liability Company under the Petroleum Industry Act.

I don’t have a problem with the congress asking its affiliates nationwide to mobilize their members for the rallies and ensure total compliance with the nationwide protests but its affiliates should ask themselves one question: What did the constitution say on Subsidy Removal?

I will advise the Presidents and General secretaries of the affiliate unions who pledged to mobilize their members for the protests to seek legal interpretation of the Petroleum Industry Act before embarking on unnecessary exercise that will suffer innocent Nigerians on the planned protests for January 27.

To get an outstanding mammoth crowd for the planned protests is not my problem but will the Labour leaders be able to control the touts that might hijack the unnecessary protest?

As much as every union President and General Secretary have pledged their support for the planned protests, I will advise them not to force workers to join the protest. Gone are the days you force workers to protest ignorantly.  

The organised labour should rather focus on what the money to realize from subsidy  removal is judiciously used to cushion the effect on Nigerians instead of saying they would not allow the proposed fuel subsidy removal to stand.

 

Adewole Kehinde is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja. He can be reached via 08166240846, 08123608662.

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