04 January 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have rejected the committee set up by the Federal Government to dialogue with labour on the removal of fuel subsidy.
The NLC said it does not recognise and would not have anything to do with the Justice Alfa Belgore-led Committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to dialogue with labour on petroleum subsidy removal, which jerked up of the pump price of petrol from N65 to N141 in the country.
The NLC also said the clampdown on innocent protesters and the killing of demonstrators in parts of the country did not portray the government as being serious with the issue of dialogue.
Similarly, the President General of the Trade Union Congress, Mr. Peter Esele, said the TUC would not hold any meeting with the committee.
He wondered how the government could set up a committee to dialogue with labour after removing the subsidy.
“Committee or no committee, this won’t stop our action. How can dialogue with labour be said to be ongoing after the subsidy has been removed.
“We don’t know what dialogue they are talking about. And what meeting are they talking about? They should expect a strike next week,” he said.
On his part, the President of the NLC, Mr. Abdulwahed Omar, said in a statement on Tuesday that the constitution of the Belgore committee to discuss the issue of the subsidy removal with labour lacked sincerity.
Omar said the Belgore committee was an afterthought designed by the Federal Government to create the impression that the government was prepared to hold consultations with Nigerians on the removed subsidy.
Also, the Trade Union Congress, Rivers State Chapter, said on Tuesday that it had decided to opt out of the committee set up by the Federal Government to resolve the controversy ignited by the removal of fuel subsidy.
The TUC State Chairman, Mr. Chika Onuegbu, said there was no reason to be part of the committee since the Federal Government had already removed fuel subsidy without consulting Nigerians.