A socio-cultural group, Yoruba Council Worldwide, has told the Nigeria Labour Congress and other organised labour unions in the country, to engage state governors and heads of various government parastatals in its bid for relief to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
Recall that, the NLC and Trade Union Congress have held several meetings with the Federal Government over the palliatives to be distributed to citizens and a reviewed minimum wage.
With most if the meetings ending in a deadlock, the NLC began its nationwide strike on Wednesday, August 2, with protests across the states.
Although, with yet another meeting on Wednesday evening with the FG, the strike was suspended.
Following this development, the group said, the FG alone could not be held responsible for the things that the state governments ought to do within their domains.
The group, in a statement issued by its global President, Aare (Oba) Oladotun Hassan (Esq) and made available to newsmen on Wednesday, stated that the organised labour unions should engage in dialogue and constructive engagement with the state governors, rather than focusing attention on the FG alone, urging them to be strategic and assertive on their demands.
He said, “The labour should be able to build constructive engagement with the presidency, senate presidency and the governors. So,there are different areas to those negotiations. They are just looking at one end to the negotiations.
“The labour unions should be able to bring to the table engagement with the 36 state governors and come up with different solutions to the the different layers of the issues. The issue of the fuel subsidy removal is constant; the issue of the hike in the fuel price and dollar rate are another issues.
“The labour unions should be able to engage the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN acting governor on that issue. They should be able to engage Mele Kyari on the issue of the fuel increase and how it should be curbed.
“So, it is not directly everything must end on the president’s table, go straight to the highlight of those issues. They are to engage the governors on critical sectors that go to the grassroots.
“They should not limit discussions only with the Federal Government, it will become a recurring decimal of the taste of the whine. We are frustrated to be listening to the Federal Government alone. Federal Government does not exist in isolation.
“The area the governors will come in is to allocate part of their Internally Generated Revenue, IGR to ameliorating the sufferings of the people in terms of cushioning the effect of the economic hardship by making provision for palliatives.
“The IGR of each state is enough to cushion the sufferings. State and local governments should be able to engage grossly by making provision for palliatives. Palliatives in terms of reduction in the transport fare, managing of parks, regulating all those critical sectors by ensuring that all transport unions are engaged through the governors, giving marching order on how things should be done.”