After putting off the planned nationwide protest in response to the elimination of fuel subsidies, Nigeria's Trade Union Congress (TUC) demanded for a tax vacation for employees in the public and commercial sectors who make less than N200,000 per month, PMS allowance and tax holiday for workers.
The TUC submitted a list of requests to the FG in a statement signed on Monday by the union's president, Festus Osifo, and general secretary, Nuhu Toro.
The requests include a tax vacation for employees in the public and commercial sectors who make less than N200,000 or 500 USD per month, whichever is higher, and a rise in the minimum wage from the current N30,000 to N200,000 before the end of June 2023.
The TUC's requests were made in order to make the elimination of gasoline subsidies simpler for Nigerian employees.
They also advocated for the maintaining of the status quo ante of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) pump pricing while discussions proceeded.
“Minimum wage should be increased from the current N30,000 to N200,000 before the end of June 2023, with consequential adjustment on the cost of feeding allowance, like feeding, transport, and housing, among others.
“A representative of state governors will be party to this communique and all the governors must commit to implement the new minimum wage.
“Tax holiday for employees both in government and private sector that earn less than N200,000 or 500USD monthly whichever is higher.
“PMS Allowance to be introduced for those earning between N200,000 to N500,000 or 500USD to 1,200USD whichever is higher,”
They also called for the creation of an intervention fund, to which the government would contribute N10 per litre on all domestically used PMS.
The main goal of this fund would be to address long-standing problems with housing, health care, and education at the federal, state, and municipal levels.
“A governance structure that will include labour, civil society, and the government will be put in place to manage the implementation.
“Federal Government should provide mass transit vehicles for all categories of the populace.
“State governments should immediately set up a subsidised transportation system to reduce the pressure on workers and students: the framework around this will be worked out.
“Immediate review of the National Health Insurance Scheme to cover more Nigerians and prevent out-of-stock of drugs.”
In the medium term, the union advocated for the deployment of compressed natural gas (CNG) across the country in accordance with the government's prior pledge, stating that the structure and timeframe will be created and agreed upon by all sides.
They encouraged labour and government to develop a framework aimed at reducing the cost of governance by 15% in 2024 and 30% by 2025.
“A framework should be immediately put in place to maintain the road and expand the rail networks across the country.
“Government must design a framework for social housing policy for workers through Rent to Own System.
“The state of electricity in the country must be appraised and an action plan should be defined with timelines on how to get this fixed.
“A strong monitoring team comprising of all parties will be constituted."
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