The leadership of the House of Representatives has called on the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, to shelve the planned nationwide protest over the removal of fuel subsidy.
The House in a statement issued by the Chairman, House Committee on Media & Public Affairs, Mr. Akin Rotimi however, acknowledged that the NLC’s threat to shutdown critical infrastructure will affect the nation’s economy and further disrupt the lives of Nigerians.
He said: “The House of Representatives notes that the Nigeria Labour Congress has insisted on proceeding on the planned peaceful protest scheduled for Wednesday, August 2, 2023, despite appeals by the Federal Government and interest groups to shelve the industrial action.
“As representatives of the people, the House of Representatives is fully aware and empathises with Nigerians on account of the hardship being experienced as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy.
“We also acknowledge the rights of the NLC to carry out peaceful protests as a means of clamouring for relief for Nigerian workers as we go through these challenging times.
“Like most Nigerians, we know that building a progressive and prosperous nation requires hard and far-reaching decisions which must be taken in the collective interest of the people, and see reason with the decision of the Federal Government to take the bull by the horn in the interest of long term economic growth and stability.
“We would however continue to impress it on the Executive Arm of Government to expedite the implementation of the palliative measures announced by President Tinubu in his broadcast on Monday, and urged the Federal Government to consider additional measures that would bring immediate respite to the people, while we wait to see the impact of the measures already announced in the coming months.
“The gap between the removal of fuel subsidy and the tangible outcomes of palliative measures must be shortened for the sake of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
“Accordingly, we call on the leadership of the NLC and other labour unions in Nigeria to please divert their energies to join the House of Representatives in continuous engagement with the Federal Government, to achieve expedited implementation of the programmes and push for additional immediate measures to provide succour for Nigerians.
“It is our considered opinion that embarking on a protest at this time would in effect shutdown our economy and further disrupt the lives of Nigerians, and therefore not in our best interest.
“The House of Representatives once again appeals to the NLC and allied labour unions to please call off the planned peaceful protest and embrace continuous dialogue as a means of achieving the best interest of hardworking Nigerian workers, without worsening the current hardship they are facing,” he urged.
Oduyemi Odumade, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Elizabeth David
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