Workers in Imo state have called on President Bola Tinubu to reconsider the removal of fuel subsidy and the recent increase in fees for unity schools and tertiary institutions. The workers expressed their concerns during a nationwide protest organized by various labour unions on Wednesday.
The protest, initiated by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Unions Congress (TUC), aims to voice opposition to the fuel subsidy removal implemented by the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government.
In the capital city of Owerri, security operatives have taken control of the Assumpta Cathedral roundabout, the scheduled venue for the protest organized by the labour unions.
During the protest, workers were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “Let Nigerians Breathe,” “Fuel Price Increase Suffocating The Poor,” and “Naira Devaluation Killing Local Industries and Jobs.”
Dr. George Ogoegbu, the Acting Chairman of the NLC in Imo state, appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider its recent economic policies. The workers called for actions such as revamping refineries, promptly paying university workers their owed eight months’ salary arrears, reducing Value Added Tax (VAT), and lowering school fees for unity colleges and tertiary institutions.
The protest in Imo state reflects the widespread concern among workers over the impact of the subsidy removal and fee increases on their livelihoods and the overall economy.
He said, “We urge Mr President to keep faith with the agreement entered by the Federal Government, NLC and TUC. We cannot continue to suffer; let the poor masses breathe.
“Nigerian workers are one of the least paid in the world. We cannot fuel our vehicles. The cost of living is alarming and we can no longer continue this way”, he said.
Also, the Secretary of the TUC in Imo, Mr. Benjamin Ezekwe, questioned the motives behind the removal of fuel subsidy without concrete plans to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.
He called on the Federal Government to desist from making promises and swing into action without delay, adding that the long wait for a remedy since May 29 has become exhausting.
“The President of a country ameliorates the suffering of the masses, not otherwise but a majority of President Tinubu’s policies have brought suffering upon Nigerians and we the workers can no longer continue to suffer in silence.
“We challenge Mr. President; if he is not coerced into being our president to revisit his policies without delay and ease our suffering. Procrastination is the thief of time “, he said.