Tinubu Unclear on Palliatives One Week after Subsidy Removal

President Bola Tinubu has asked the National Economic Council (NEC) to come up with input on palliatives and the minimum wage review as part of measures to cushion the pain of subsidy removal.

Development Diaries reports that Tinubu gave this directive during a meeting with members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday.

He instructed the NEC, headed by Vice President Kashim Shettima, to come up with interventions to ease the suffering of vulnerable Nigerians.

Recall that the labour unions, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congres (TUC, suspended their planned strike on Monday on expectations that the government would come up with a proposal by 19 June.

The concern has been that President Tinubu did not think it necessary to discuss with critical stakeholders before implementing the planned removal of the subsidy, as it appears no concrete plans were put in place to cushion the effect on vulnerable Nigerians.

According to the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting, the items that topped the discussions were palliatives and an upward review of the current minimum wage for workers.

Abiodun said, ‘Some of us are looking at the enhancement of minimum wage; Mr President has announced today that NEC should immediately begin to sit, led by His Excellency, the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, and the committee of NEC, alongside the economic team and the marketers should sit down and come up with a wholesome approach that will be beneficial to the common man and the generality of Nigerians’.

Development Diaries believes that the president ought to have met with the state governors and other key stakeholders before implementing the removal of the fuel subsidy.

It is common knowledge that the Nigerian government always assures the citizens that they should suffer temporarily for future gains. But do citizens later get to experience a better future?

While the Tinubu-led government needs to be specific on what short-term plans it intends to implement to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable citizens, the government also needs to assure them that the funds realised from the subsidy removal would be put to good use.

Meanwhile, we reiterate our call to President Tinubu to be specific on his plans to provide palliative measures for vulnerable Nigerians to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

Photo source: Bola Ahmed Tinubu

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