The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has lamented the delay in the implementation of promises made to provide palliative to Nigerians by the federal government.
TUC President Festus Osifo said the federal government should step up and redeem her image as promise keepers.
He said the minister of labour and employment, Dr Simon Lalong, urged the TUC to give the federal government extra two weeks to conclude on its arrangements for the palliatives, and that the union conceded to just one week.
“We put the issues forward and told the Minister that we are tired of rhetorics, that all we want is action. That we want a definite pronouncement from the President. We said that some things are quick wins. Part of those quick wins are: wage award, freezing of taxation for low income earners because if you said you want to distribute money to people and you don’t have social register it will be a futile venture. For the low income earner (between N30,000 to N80,000), you can exempt them from tax, and that will serve as palliative partially. And for those in private sector employment, you can give them tax holiday for 2, 3 or 4 years.
“So when you do that, the money they will pay for tax will direct come to them. This way, you have hundred percent accountability without having monies misdirected or misappropriated. So these were the quick wins we put forward.
“We also went further to make case for transportation. We said that some Federal workers today come to work from far distance places. You can image someone whose monthly earning is 60, 70 or 80 thousand naira per month, coming from far neighborhoods to work.
“They will spend nothing less than 80% of their earnings on transportation going and coming to work. We also asked of the 3,000 buses government said it was bringing in to reduce high cost of transportation, how many are you dedicating to Federal workers, to the downtrodden who could not afford transportation.
“We also asked questions about the N70 billion pronouncement made by President Tinubu earlier for MSMEs. We have not heard anything about it since the pronouncement. We asked where do people apply for it. For a hairdresser or other MSMEs that want to apply for the loan, where do they go and apply for it. We said we want clarification. We also asked about the status of the CNG buses that was promised.
“The Minister told us that after the earlier we had, he had an engagement with the President and he asked them to put some basic things place, however they couldn’t conclude before the President travelled. But that himself and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy have been working assiduously. That when President comes back, there will be a pronouncement.
The Minister also appealed that we should give them two weeks for all these to be concluded but we told them that two weeks was too long. That we have been engaged in endless meetings and rhetorics, that what we want is action. And that the pronouncement the President will make should not wait for two weeks,” said the TUC leader.