Independence Day: Coalition felicitates Nigerians, urges Tinubu to avert labour strike

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By EMMANUEL KUJE, Abuja –

 

Coalition for the Survival of Nigeria (CSN) has felicitated Nigerians on the occasion of the country’s 63rd independence anniversary even as it urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to avert the proposed indefinite nationwide strike by the Organised Labour over irreconcilable differences on how to mitigate the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.

 

 

The Coalition’s intervention was contained in a press statement issued in Abuja and signed by its Chairman, Chief Ezekiel Afukonyo and Secretary, Barrister C.J.Chinwuba.

 

The Coalition said it was taking the opportunity of the anniversary to “place on record the demonstrated political will by President Tinubu to effectuate a number of fundamental policy changes, including the removal of fuel subsidy, which he announced on May 29, 2023, in his audacious move to build resilience for our national economy.”

 

“Though not without their attendant effects, which include hike in pump prices of petrol, inflationary reaction and the unrealistic value of the naira, resulting in worsening monetary and multidimensional poverty, the decision to remove fuel subsidy has understandably precipitated agitations in the polity with the Organised Labour threatening an indefinite nationwide strike if its moves to negotiate a better deal for Nigerian workers fall through,” the Coalition stated.

 

The statement added: “Having declared an indefinite nationwide strike effective October 3, 2023, the Coalition is of the firm belief that negotiations between the government and the Organised Labour had failed. We, therefore, believe that the Federal Government owes Nigeria the responsibility to ensure that the proposed nationwide strike is averted, and we hereby urge President Tinubu to impress it on the government team to double down on negotiations with the Organised Labour to ensure the planned action is averted.

 

“Consequently, we recommend the followings for consideration by the Federal Government in addition to addressing the impasse with the Organised Labour.

 

“The emplacement of short-term palliative measures to be channeled to vulnerable Nigerians through recognized bodies, organized labour and community organisations;

 

“ Federal Government should embark on medium and long-term measures to ramp up industrial and food production through the Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Scheme;

 

“The economic policies at the sub-national government must align with the macro-economic policies of the federal government for greater positive results. Specifically, the sub-national government should fast-track the minimum wage negotiation and subsequent harmonization with the federal government’s proposed offering for quick resolution of what should be the livable minimum wage in the country:

 

“The federal government should declare a state of emergency in the public transport sector. It should partner Organised Transport Union by providing and fixing CNG tools in over five million commercial vehicles plying all the nooks and crannies in the country. This can be achieved through credit facilities of direct supply and fixing of the CNG tools in the vehicles; Emergency funds should be directed to purchasing such equipment and their installations on credit to the sector. The recall of such investments could be done on monthly basis by taking a fraction of every trip embarked upon by the beneficiary public transport operator until the debt is liquidated;

 

“ To make living honourable for the public, the freed subsidy earnings when deployed would lead to a larger mortgage system as obtained in the western world.”

 

The Coalition said it held the strong view that the urgency of making the Nigerian economy sustainable for all and sundry was now and appealed to Organised Labour and agitated Nigerians to consider the larger picture of economic prosperity the Administration of President Bola Tinubu had envisioned in his Renewed Hope economic blueprint and give it a chance to succeed.

 

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