Labour protest: We’ll implement policies to cushion challenges of subsidy removal – Rivers govt

Labour protest: We’ll implement policies to cushion challenges of subsidy removal – Rivers govt

The Rivers State Government has promised that the Governor Siminalayi Fubara-led administration would implement policies and programmes that would cushion the challenges experienced by residents occasioned by the subsidy removal.

This was disclosed by the Chief-of-Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Mr. Chidi Anadi, when he received and addressed members of the organised Labour, who staged a peaceful protest in the state on behalf of the governor, Siminalayi Fubara, on Wednesday.

Amadi stated that beyond the subsidy intervention buses released recently, the Fubara-led administration would take prompt and positive steps to address the pains experienced by residents of the state.

He appealed to organised labour to be patient, assuring that the governor (Fubara) was “restless and willing to do anything humanly possible, to make sure that the current challenges faced by the generality of Rivers people are properly and promptly addressed.”

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Earlier, the organised Labour led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had called on the Federal and State governments to address current the state of Nigerians.

Organised labour blasted the federal government for being insensitive to the welfare of Nigerians, by failing to provide palliative measures before it took decision on subsidy removal.

State NLC chairman, Alex Agwanwor, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, said the citizens had taken enough from the Nigerian government and the body could no longer keep quiet.

He said: “We are here today, as workers, as a group, Civil Society Organisations to protest, to express ourselves on the current happenings in Nigeria occasioned by the federal government’s removal of fuel subsidy and the hardship that came with it, the suffering, the trauma Nigerians are passing through.

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“As a people, they said you should let as breathe. Your Excellency, Sir, we cannot breathe. The price of PMS has been increased from N512 today to N617. You can agree with that in Nigeria, everything is controlled by the price of PMS.

“When the price of PMS increases, everything increases. Today, transportation everywhere has increased. School fees have increased; other services have increased. But, our salaries have not increased. Our house rents have increased; but, our salaries have not increased.

“The masses are suffering. So, as NLC, TUC who represent the masses of Nigeria, we say we will not keep quiet. We have to come to you as directed by the national secretariat to present our demands.

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Labour told Federal Government to provide palliatives before subsidy removal. But, it did not listen to us. We told Federal Government to put the refineries in order before deregulation, it did not listen to us.

“Federal Government said it wants to poor to breathe. But, today, the masses are not breathing. Nigerians are dying on daily basis.”

The organised labour maintained Federal Government should implement whatever agreement they had earlier signed, revamp moribund Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri refineries, as well as reverse all anti-people policies of the government like hike in fuel pump price, school fees and Valued Added Tax (VAT).

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