Niger State Government on Wednesday said the upward review of salaries of workers across all levels would better cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal on citizens. He noted that the planned palliative initiative would not be sustainable.
The Deputy Governor, Yakubu Garba said this when he joined the Nigeria Labour Congress match protest from Niger State Labour House to the State House of Assembly.
Garba, the immediate past NLC Chairman in the state said while NLC was not part of the policy formulators, it must be allowed to check the actions of government at all levels.
“Labour is not against the government. If there is any sincere driver of government policies, it is organised labour. But labourers are not leaders who make policies. So, any policy that government would formulate should have a human face so that the masses do not suffer,” Garba said.
The Deputy Governor was of the opinion that the best way the government would address the hardship being faced by citizens was an upward review of salaries rather than temporary palliative measures.
He said the state government was working on ways in collaboration with the state House of Assembly to provide opportunities that would cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy on citizens of the state.
The Chairman of the Trade Union Congress in the State, Ibrahim Gana said the salaries of workers in the state ended up in transportation to work since the removal of the fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, subjecting residents to untold hardship due to the rising cost of food stuffs and other essentials.
Also speaking, the State NLC Chairman, Idris Lafene said the labour union would not back out of its demands.
He said part of its demands from the state government was the payment of N60,000 palliative to all workers across all levels in the state.
Addressing the protesting union members, the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Barrister Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji said the state assembly was in support of the protest because of the untold hardship the removal of the subsidy had caused the citizens.
He said NLC should be involved in the distribution of any palliative to poor Nigerians.