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SSANU, NANS vow to resist proposed removal of fuel subsidy

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Increase in petrol price inevitable –Rewane

The thorny issue of removal of fuel subsidies has led to an outpour of opposing reactions from different stakeholders across the country with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) amongst the associations who had registered their displeasure.

During his speech on Thursday at its 41st Regular National Executive Council, NEC, meeting at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Osun State, the SSANU President, Comrade Mohammed Haruna Ibrahim, disclosed that the association was ready to stand in solidarity with the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) towards rejecting this ‘evil and unpatriotic’ policy by the Federal Government.

“In the next few days, the Nigeria Labour Congress is mobilizing all the Nigerian workers both formal and informal to protest this evil and very unpatriotic thought of removing fuel subsidy in Nigeria.

“We have it in good authority that about N200 will be added to the N162 or N170 depending on where you are buying as fuel price in Nigeria. This, Nigeria Labour Congress in which SSANU is an affiliate, totally rejects and will participate fully in this protest across Nigeria on the 27th of this month.

“The present federal government of Nigeria is not doing any better in its relationship with our labour unions. SSANU in particular is facing the most difficult period of its existence because our members are going through a lot in terms of hardship, in terms of denial.”

Read also: Nigerian govt moves to avoid another strike by SSANU/NASU

Ibrahim further highlighted the duplicity of the FG who repeatedly reneged on pre-signed agreements which have led to a degradation in the educational system and workers’ apathy.

The SSANU President said, “We have had a 2009 Agreement which is about 12 years down the line, just less than 40% of that agreement has seen the light of the day. Even those that have seen the light of the day, they are coming in different forms and sizes that are not encouraging and not also friendly to our membership.

“Today what our members go through is a mutilation of salaries, none payment of promises made such as that of the new minimum wage arrears, none implementation or partial or lopsided payment of the hazard and responsibility allowance, issues of staff schools that have become an issue of concern to all our members.

“Funding of state universities has become so terrible, some universities in Nigeria of state extraction suffer 12 months or two, three years of none payment of salaries and allowances. Inter-university centers that are supposed to be part of our struggle have been denied their legitimate rights and privileges of accessing allowances that have been approved and agreed upon with the federal government of Nigeria.

“The renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement is still wobbling and dancing. We also see today in our Nigerian universities this dangerous and reckless usurpation of our duties of our members by some Vice-Chancellors who give out our duties as specified in our callings to other people who do not know better than we do.

“SSANU as a union is not happy with the situation we have found ourselves in this country and we are calling on the government that we will not sit down and watch our members continue to suffer in silence.

“We will not sit down and continue to be deceived by promises that will not see the light of the day.”

Buttressing the sentiments of the SSANU, the NANS warned about the consequences of increasing the pump price of petroleum products due to the weak state of the economy.

This was disclosed on Thursday night in a press statement signed by the South-West Coordinator, Comrade Stephen Tegbe, and the Public Relations Officer, Comrade Emmanuel Esiegbe.

The NANS pilloried the Federal Government over its fixation on fuel subsidy removal as the only means of revenue generation in the country.

“It is no longer news that the Federal Government of Nigeria under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari has taken an increase in fuel price as the only attempt to meet the economic needs of the administration. The consequence of the decision which is against the promise to alleviate suffering has left Nigerians with unbearable consequences.

“The attention of the leadership of NANS Zone D, Southwest has been drawn to the recommendations put forward by the NEC ad-hoc committee interfacing with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the appropriate pricing of PMS in Nigeria which indicates that the price of petroleum may be increased to #302 from February.

“It is a great disappointment that the government we submitted our rights of governing ourselves to in return for security and betterment has closed its eyes to the situations of the country which has crippled citizens. Our candid hope is that the government will take amelioration of the situation as a necessity and going by the recommendations made by a committee that has state governors as members, it means the government deliberately wants to put citizens in terrible conditions.

“The leadership of the zone hereby rejects the recommendation and we promise the federal government and the others involved decisive and appropriate response if the pimp price of fuel.is hiked.

“In the interest of our members across Southwest, we wish to inform you all of an emergency Senate meeting to prepare stakeholders, leaders, and cadres ahead of the struggle because folding arms when danger looms will be a great setback to our constituency,” the NANS notified.

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