The Nigeria Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said the removal of petrol subsidy is not intended to punish anybody.
The minister assured this yesterday, saying nothing is yet to be decided, and this proposal will not be implemented without involving Nigerians.
He added that the proposed N5000 palliative is lined up to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal, gas-powered vehicles for mass transit, loans for farmers, conditional cash transfers to workers and other things.
On Tuesday, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, announced that petrol will start selling between N320 and N340 per litre from February 2022.
The Minister for Finance also reiterated the plan of the Government to give “poor Nigerians” N5000 each as transport allowance.
Although on Wednesday, the NLC rejected the planned removal of fuel subsidy and called it “comical”, calling the Government not to put Nigerians into more hardship since they cannot help improve the present condition.
Subsidy Removal not Meant to Punish Anybody – Minister
Ngige reacting to these, stated that the Government will not take these steps out of his own volition.
He Reiterates that the Government will always dialogue with the labour union in the scheme of things, which is one of the principles of the International Labour Organisation.
He added that the committee set up to look into these things have only finished a phase of the work, and there are still more to be done.
He stated that “The second phase of the work is for them (NNPC) to come and present to us what we are supposed to do if the subsidy is to go.”
He noted that though they are yet to reconvene, he is the chairman of the committee, and they will cross the bridge when they get there.
He added that since it is a budget season, the finance minister would have had reasons to have said what she said, same with NNPC GMD.
He affirmed that they would not take Nigerian workers for granted and that the meeting would yield a great result.
“As the chairman, I will contact them all – NNPC and the rest of them, invite them, and we will fix our meeting. There is a likelihood that the meeting will hold this year.
“There is no implementation yet. Minister of Finance and GMD of NNPC – as the revenues managers are telling you what they think we should do in 2022. That is what is there, and it is not a one-off thing.
“It will be done in such a way that it conforms with the discussions we are already having. There must be a discussion.
“Labour and Nigerians should not worry. We are not interested in punishing anybody,” the minister added.