The Trade Union Congress (TUC) wants the Federal Government to go beyond promises and get to work to cushion the economic hardships facing Nigerians.
Since assuming office in May, President Bola Tinubu ended the fuel subsidy and also floated the naira, resulting in a tripling of the prices of petrol and a hike in the cost of living.
Although the Federal Government has rolled out plans to cushion the impacts of the moves with several meetings held between it and organised labour, the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Festus Osifo is lamenting the hardship in the country and wants actions to combat it.
He spoke on Friday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“As an average Nigerian, one of the things you spend your hard-earned money on is actually food. The government must do something,” the TUC chief added.
“We’ve had a lot of rhetoric: ‘We’ve declared a state of emergency on food security’. We have had a lot of meetings and summits on issues like this. Nigerians are tired of meetings, summits, and rhetoric. Today, the cost of items in the market has skyrocketed and gone over the roof.”
Labour had reached an agreement with the Federal Government over the rising cost of living in the wake of the subsidy removal. But the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the TUC have issued an ultimatum to the government to fulfill its end of the deal.
In the wake of the prevailing hardship, government officials have repeatedly urged Nigerians to be patient over the reforms, which Tinubu says will bring in more foreign investment to Africa’s largest economy.
But the short-term impact is hitting Nigerians hard: Inflation was at 28.92 percent in December, with food costs at 33.93 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The naira currency has fallen swiftly against the US dollar since the government ended a multi-tier exchange rate system and freed up the local currency.
Before the reforms, the naira was trading at around 450 to the dollar, but on Monday it was trading at 1,400 to the dollar.
In the heat of the prevailing hardships, Nigerians have taken to the streets in Kano, Niger, and Osun states, asking the government to ameliorate their plight.
The Federal Government has also waded into the matter with Tinubu ordering the release of 42,000 metric tons of grains from strategic reserves.
Hardship: Naira Is Stabilising, FG’s Reforms Yielding Positive Results – Information Minister
…Insists FG Will Go After Saboteurs
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, says the Nigerian Government is identifying and sanctioning individuals sabotaging the economy.
The minister noted that the removal of the petrol subsidy was one policy decision that all the three major candidates agreed on in their campaign messages.
He said it was mystifying to see people who had argued stridently for the removal of subsidy now pretending to be against it, noting that such insincerity does not bode well for the country.
Idris insisted that the President’s policies are yielding positive results.
He, however, said that the government was not under any illusion that the policies are silver bullets, or that nothing else is required.
Stressing that the government will not allow its efforts to be jeopardised, the minister said regulatory and enforcement agencies have been working round the clock in the past few days to identify, investigate and sanction those involved in illegal activities and sabotage within the forex market.
“As respected economists and experts have acknowledged, these foundational reforms will be difficult and painful for Nigerians in the short-term,” the Minister said in a statement he signed and made available to journalists in Abuja on Friday.
“The problems that we are solving are no doubt multifaceted, intertwined, and deep-rooted, requiring creative, strategic, decisive, and multi-pronged solutions. These bold moves being implemented are in full alignment with what is required.
“It is heartwarming to note that we are starting to see the results. Indeed, the naira is stabilizing, and the foreign exchange market is seeing a surge of inflows.
“Sadly, as with any effort to reform and sanitise a system entrenched in long-term malpractice, the CBN’s efforts have been met with ferocious resistance from speculators and other unscrupulous players within and outside our country, who profit from dysfunction and opacity.
“To tackle this, regulatory and enforcement agencies of government have been working round the clock in the past few days, joining forces to address these efforts at undermining the reforms.
“That strategic alliance has led to the intelligence-led identification, investigation and sanctioning of individuals and organizations involved in illegal activities and sabotage within the forex market.
“Relevant regulatory and security agencies have been directed to remain vigilant to ensure that malpractices capable of undermining our currency are averted and that those engaged in these acts are brought to book. The government will not allow its efforts to be jeopardised
BREAKING: INEC Publishes Report Of 2023 General Election
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has released its report on the 2023 general election.
The commission said the publication of the report is in keeping with its tradition over the last four electoral cycles and commitment to transparency.
This was made known in a statement by Sam Olumekun, the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
Olumekun said the Report showcases the election’s unparalleled diversity in party representation, demonstrating significant democratic progress.
According to him, the 2023 general election saw four political parties winning gubernatorial races, seven parties winning senatorial seats, eight in federal constituencies and nine in State legislatures, illustrating a broad shift in political representation across Nigeria.
He said the document has been made accessible on its website and social media platforms.
“On Thursday, 22nd February 2024, the Commission convened for its weekly meeting, where the 2023 General Election Report was reviewed and approved for publication.
It partly read: “In keeping with our tradition over the last four electoral cycles, and our commitment to transparency, we are pleased to announce the release of the official INEC report on the 2023 General Election.
“This comprehensive 526-page document, structured into 13 chapters and enhanced with 60 tables, 14 boxes and 10 graphs, offers an in-depth analysis of the election’s key processes, achievements, and challenges, alongside valuable lessons learned.
“The Report showcases the election’s unparalleled diversity in party representation, demonstrating significant democratic progress. This election saw four political parties winning gubernatorial races, seven parties winning senatorial seats, eight in federal constituencies and nine in State legislatures, illustrating a broad shift in political representation across Nigeria.
“The Report underscores the pivotal role of technological advancements, particularly the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), in enhancing electoral integrity and reducing fraud. Furthermore, it addresses public concerns about the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal, explaining the technical issues encountered during the upload of polling unit results for the presidential election.
JUST IN: Okpebholo Declared Winner Of Edo APC Gov’ship Primary
Senator Monday Okpebholo has been declared winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election for the September 2024 governorship election in Edo State.
Okpebholo scored 12, 433 votes to emerge winner.
- High Court Grants Bail To Ex-Kwara Gov, Abdulfatah Ahmed
- Hardship: Naira Is Stabilising, FG’s Reforms Yielding Positive Results – Information Minister
- BREAKING: INEC Publishes Report Of 2023 General Election
- JUST IN: Okpebholo Declared Winner Of Edo APC Gov’ship Primary
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