Imo Workers Call on President Tinubu to Reverse Subsidy Removal and Increased Fees

In Owerri, Imo State, workers have joined the nationwide protest organized by labour unions, calling on President Bola Tinubu to reverse the removal of fuel subsidy and the increased fees for unity schools and tertiary institutions.

The protest, led by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Unions Congress (TUC), saw workers expressing their discontent at the Assumpta Cathedral roundabout in Owerri. Security operatives were present, and the control post, which was the scheduled venue for the protest, was also taken over by security personnel.

During the protest, workers held placards with powerful messages, demanding that the government takes immediate action to address their grievances. The inscriptions on the placards included calls for Nigerians to have breathing space, expressing concern over the suffocating impact of fuel price increases on the poor, and raising alarm over the naira devaluation affecting local industries and jobs.

Dr. George Ogoegbu, the Acting Chairman of NLC in Imo, delivered an appeal to the Federal Government, urging them to reconsider recent economic policies. The workers’ demands included fixing refineries, promptly paying eight months’ salary arrears owed to university workers, reducing VAT, and lowering school fees for unity colleges and tertiary institutions.

The protesters’ gathering in Owerri reflects the growing frustration and concern over the impact of the subsidy removal and economic policies on ordinary citizens and workers. As the nationwide protest continues, the government is being urged to address the pressing issues raised by the labour unions to alleviate the hardships faced by the people.

He said, “We urge Mr President to keep faith with the agreement entered by the Federal Government, NLC and TUC. We cannot continue to suffer; let the poor masses breathe.

“Nigerian workers are one of the least paid in the world. We cannot fuel our vehicles. The cost of living is alarming and we can no longer continue this way”, he said.

Also, the Secretary of the TUC in Imo, Mr. Benjamin Ezekwe, questioned the motives behind the removal of fuel subsidy without concrete plans to ameliorate the sufferings of Nigerians.

He called on the Federal Government to desist from making promises and swing into action without delay, adding that the long wait for a remedy since May 29 has become exhausting.

“The President of a country ameliorates the suffering of the masses, not otherwise but a majority of President Tinubu’s policies have brought suffering upon Nigerians and we the workers can no longer continue to suffer in silence.

“We challenge Mr. President; if he is not coerced into being our president to revisit his policies without delay and ease our suffering. Procrastination is the thief of time “, he said.

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