For Nigerians to bear the brunt of the fuel subsidy removal, the federal government should procure buses and distribute them to states.
The Deputy Secretary General, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCN), Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe, who dropped this hint in an interview, said the proposed N8,000.00 for families would not be enough palliative that could cushion the effect.
“The Labour has asked the federal government to buy buses. If they buy buses and give them to the mass transit people and get state governments to get their own mass transit like in Kwara state where there is free transport for everyone, this will be a better palliative.
“We expect the Federal Government to buy buses, and as a way of palliative, hand them over to state governments and also give to the registered mass transit operators. When this is done, it will bring down the cost of fuel and cost of living,” he said.
Igbokwe, who was former chairman of Enugu Trade Union Congress (TUC) said apart from providing enhanced transport service as a form of palliative, the federal government should fix the existing refineries in Nigeria to bring down the cost of fuel.
He said that if the government is sincere about ending the fuel crisis, there should be a turnaround of the refineries by September next month.
“We, the Labour have put before them that our refineries should work. The only way we can get things to work very well is to make our refineries to work again. Dangote Refinery is said to start refining crude oil this August and then the turnaround maintenance of our existing refineries like in Warrior and Port Harcourt.
“By now, if the government is sincere and put pressure, by September all these things will go down,” he opined.
Speaking on the proposed minimum wage of N100 or N200,000, Igbokwe said when approved would not bring about hyper inflation because the cost of living has already gone up, adding that wage increase is statutory and is done occasionally even without labour asking for it or going on strike.
According to him, labour does not enjoy embarking on strike but use strike as a last resort when dialogue and understanding has failed.