The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has accused President Bola Tinubu’s administration of abandoning the N35,000 monthly payment to workers as agreed labour leaders in October 2023.
The federal government and organized labour had agreed on the monthly payment of N35,000 monthly to workers for a period of six months to help cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
However, the TUC has said that workers only received the payment of N35,000 only once despite having the revenue to pay.
Speaking on AriseTV, TUC President, Festus Osifo, said the government has stopped the promised six-month wage award payment after the first payment was made.
“If you’ve signed an agreement and you’re finding it difficult to implement, what you do normally is for you to call the other party, and you sit down together. But we don’t even think that is the challenge, we don’t think that is the problem,” Usifo said.
“Because today, you could see from the federation account how much they share every month, it has doubled compared to the figures that they were sharing or the amount of money that they were sharing as at April/May.
“Today, they share trillions of naira, that shows that even if the value of this money has plummeted, even if the value has gone down, but the physical note is there, the volume has actually gone up.
“So, they could actually take care of this. It is not because they don’t have revenue, but it is the will for them to actually do what is right. You know very well, that as at when this government came in, the exchange rate was somewhere around N450 to a dollar. But today, officially, it is over N900, which is times two. That has actually made the government to be earning more money.”
Osifo disclosed that the government had not notarised the 10-point agenda that the TUC had presented to the government, which was eventually agreed with.
“The last point in that agreement that we reached as at then contained the fact that it will be a consent judgement, but up till now, to the best information available to us, that has not been done. As at today, it’s not been placed before the court of law for it to be adopted as a consent judgement.
“But even beyond that, there are some provisions in that agreement that we felt that government, they have not implemented to the latter.”
“It is left for government to tell us the reason why they have not taken that document to court, it’s left for them. But for us, our responsibility is to hold them accountable to be sure and certain that every statement in that agreement as agreed with them must be implemented.”
Osifo then said that the demands that the TUC listed in the 10-point agenda came about as they considered the suffering of the average Nigerian because of high rising prices due to inflation, the removal of fuel subsidy, and other economic challenges.
“It was based on this that the government came up with this 10-point agenda, because we feel that if government is sincere enough to implement these and put frameworks in place to address all these, the life of an average Nigerian will be better.
“This government must sit down, buckle its belt and address the issues that are affecting Nigerians,” he said.