The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have thumbed down the N500bn palliative proposed by President Bola Tinubu, stating that it is grossly inadequate to assuage the hardships confronting workers sequel to the fuel subsidy removal.
They are demanding a 300 per cent salary increase to enable workers to cope with the challenges imposed by the deteriorating economic situation that came with the removal of the controversial fuel subsidy.
On Wednesday, the President wrote to the House of Representatives seeking approval for N500bn to cushion the effects of petrol subsidy removal.
Tinubu’s request was contained in a letter sent to the National Assembly and read during plenary by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas.
The President had announced the petrol subsidy removal during his inaugural address on May 29, 2023, in response to claims that the subsidy regime favoured the rich more than the average Nigerians, among other reasons.
In his letter, the President proposed an amendment to the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act.
It read, “I write to the House of Reps to approve the amendment of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act in accordance with the attached.
“The request has become necessarily important to, among other things, the source for funds necessary to provide palliatives to mitigate the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy on Nigerians.
“Thus, the sum of N500bn only has been extracted from the 2022 Supplementary Act of N819,536,937,815 for the provision of palliative to cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal.”
The president said he hoped the lawmakers would consider his request “expeditiously.”
The House is expected to hold a plenary today on the president’s request.
Last December, the National Assembly passed a supplementary budget of N819bn for the 2022 fiscal year and also extended the implementation of the 2022 budget till March 31, 2023.