Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Monday met with top labour leaders in the state, appealing to them that the recent removal of fuel subsidy had been done in good faith to curb further damage to the economy.
That comes as the Governor approved immediate reduction of workdays for the workforce in the state to lessen the impact of the subsidy removal on their earnings.
Civil servants will now work for three days in Kwara State, as against the current five days. Civil service authorities are expected to release further guidance on the measure, including how it affects health workers and teachers.
“Removal of subsidy is definitely a painful decision that the government had to take in the larger interest of the country. It is the cheapest and most sustainable option available to curb criminal bleeding of the resources at the expense of the larger public,” according to an excerpt of the Governor’s address to the Labour leaders.
“Subsidy regime means Nigeria is running a deficit budget that continues to hurt economic growth and make people poorer. The country was having to borrow to feed a tiny few, while important things like infrastructural development, industrial growth, job creation receive lesser resources.
“Now that subsidy has been removed as there is no provision for it in the budget anymore, the government is open to veritable ideas from the labour unions on how to redirect the savings for maximum public benefit, including pay rise.
“Mr. President and all of us (Governors) really acknowledge the short-term pains that come with the development, but we are committed to making sure that the interest of the workers and the Nigerian people is protected.”
The meeting was attended by the NLC Chairman Comrade Muritala Saheed Olayinka; State TUC Chairman Comrade Joseph Tunde Meshach; Chairman Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Kwara state chapter