May 27, 2024

NLC President Ajaero Voices Concerns Over Fuel Price Surge

 

By: Emmanuel Ibitoye

 

Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has expressed deep concern over the adverse impact of the recent fuel price hike on Nigerians, labeling them as “losers” for adapting to the surge. Speaking at the 21st Daily Trust Dialogue themed “Tinubu’s Economic Reforms: Gainers and Losers,” Ajaero highlighted the struggles faced by the masses, emphasizing the substantial increase in fuel prices from N187/liter to N700/liter.

 

Ajaero noted the absence of a corresponding increase in salaries and wages, underscoring the resulting hardships faced by citizens. Critically assessing the economic reforms, he pointed out that under former President Muhammadu Buhari, it took eight years for the exchange rate to move from N260/dollar to N700/dollar. However, within six months under President Bola Tinubu, it escalated to N1,350/dollar, leading Ajaero to question who the real losers were in this scenario.

 

Characterizing the current economic situation as a “public disaster and private gain,” Ajaero highlighted the failure of privatized companies in Nigeria, attributing it to what he termed a “prodigal economy.” Expressing concern about the country’s escalating debt, he questioned the burden of repayment and criticized the enduring narrative of short-term suffering for long-term gains.

 

President Tinubu’s decision to remove the fuel subsidy, as declared following his election, was reiterated in the context of redirecting funds toward essential sectors such as healthcare, transportation, education, housing, and national security. Tinubu emphasized that ending the subsidy aimed to curtail the channeling of substantial funds into the accounts of a select few, focusing on broader societal benefits.

 

As Ajaero concluded, he urged the implementation of policies to safeguard employment amidst growing company closures and rising unemployment, signaling a call for a comprehensive approach to address the economic challenges facing the nation.

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