The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have refuted some reports that they plan to join the alleged plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to mobilise Nigerian workers to demand further reduction in the price of petroleum in line with the price downfall of crude oil in the global market.
The President General of the TUC, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama in a telephone interview with THISDAY, said while the congress strongly believes that the current price of N87 per litre can be further reduced, it cannot join any political party in a protest.
“That would amount to us being partisan, and we are not partisan,” he said, adding that Nigeria is at a very critical period on the threshold of the 2015 general election.
Kaigama, however, reiterated the call for further reduction in the price of fuel, noting that since the government had always hinged price hike on prices of crude oil in the international markets, dwindling prices should also be considered for commensurate reduction.
The Nigeria Labour Congress also refuted the reports that it would organise or join any planned rally to demand a reduction.
Also, the General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Esan, in a text message to THISDAY said “No. At no time did we say so.”
The NLC in a statement it released on Monday, had noted that the 10.3 per cent price reduction is not enough, adding that the reduction should be at least 33 per cent as it was done in other countries.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Pensioners has called on the government to ensure the implementation and payment of 29 months arrears accrued from the recent 33 per cent pension increase.
The union also demanded that pension deductions be included on the first line of charge to mitigate the challenges faced in the release of the funds.
The union, in a statement signed by its National President Dr. Abel Afolayan and its General Secretary, Elder Actor Zal, added that 29 months pension arrears remains unpaid to beneficiaries.
“…The said arrears is from July 2010 to September 2014, and having paid for nine months, leaving the balance of 29 months, we hereby, urged the federal government to honour its pledge to the union of capturing the remaining balance of the arrears in the 2015 budget for payment.
The union further appealed to the federal government to ensure that all unpaid gratuities and other entitlements due to pensioners are captured in the 2015 budget.
“We wish to equally make a case that the balance of 20.4 per cent pension increase which made the total 53.4 percent increase, formally and officially approved by the federal government be immediately worked out and captured in the 2015 or in the subsequent budgets for payment,” the statement read.