17 October 2011
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to cut all "unnecessary spending" and allowances and concentrate funds on areas of basic responsibility to Nigerians instead of insisting on the removal of fuel subsidy.
The Acting General Secretary of the NLC, Mr. Owei Lakemfa, who spoke with THISDAY Sunday night, said expenditure on healthcare, education, transportation and other critical sectors cannot be reduced as "they are the basic responsibility of the government to all Nigerians".
In the meantime, ahead of the planned deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry, President Goodluck Jonathan has asked members of the Economic Management Team to prepare "safety nets" to cushion the effects of the withdrawal of fuel subsidy.
Lakemfa said the removal of subsidy is a "dictation" of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is also as a result of pressure from the governors on the Presidency.
Accompanied by the depreciation of the naira, all these would cause more poverty among Nigerians, Owei warned.