Former Rivers State Governorship candidate, Prince Tonye Princewill has criticised the Nigerian labour union for being too silent on the removal of the fuel subsidy.
He said Nigerians expect to hear more from labour given the pains and hardship occasioned by the fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu.
The PUNCH reported that Princewill who contested for Governorship during the 2015 election under the platform of the Labour Party said this during an interactive session with newsmen at his residence in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
He stated that though subsidy removal was not peculiar to Nigeria, but the apex government’s decision to do so without putting the necessary measures in place to cushion its effect on the citizens was unfortunate.
Princewill who resigned from the All Progressives Congress before the 2023 elections emphasized that the fraud in the subsidy must be addressed.
He stated, “The issue of subsidy is deep. Countries subsidise all the time. But in this country, we have a subsidy and we found out that there was fraud in the subsidy.
“So in removing the subsidy, what about the fraud? And then look at the pain on the people.
“So to me, removal of subsidy is the removal of the fraud of subsidy.
“It (subsidy) didn’t just come by surprise. So palliative measures, and countermeasures needed to have been put in place.
“We have enough brains in this country to establish things that need to be put in place to make the pains of people a lot easier.
“If that has not been put in place as far as I’m concerned, there is no excuse. So it is unfortunate.”
Princewill further said spending trillions of Naira subsidising fuel is ‘nonsensical’, saying, “If you are not going to do that, then you have to have alternatives in place.”
“If you are going to take away this money and make these savings, then you have to point out what is it you are doing with the money.
“The government has to answer those questions. If they don’t answer those questions, people will not forget.
“I think labour has been a bit too quiet. I don’t know what the negotiation is that is ongoing or not ongoing. But we (Nigerians) expect to hear from labour a lot more in this regard,” he added.