The Federal Government, through it’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has appealed to Nigerian workers and unions to shelve the proposed strike over the new petrol price of N145 per litre.
In an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Monday, the Minister pleaded
“If we continue along this line, we will get to a point where the country will be completely broke.
“That is why this policy has become absolutely necessary and we have no option.
“We are therefore seeking the understanding of all Nigerians and appealing to the organised labour to sheathe their sword.
“This is not the time for any action that will further worsen the economy. The situation is dire, not just in Nigeria but elsewhere around the world”, he said.
Although he didn’t mention the improved minimum wage obtainable in United Arab Emirates, Mohammed gave the instance of the country after it announced that fuel prices would be deregulated with effect from Aug. 1, 2016.
“It is only going to be a temporary hardship because with the discipline of this government and political will, things will be put in shape.
“The moment we liberalise and open the market up, there will be competition and the price will come down and there will be petrol glot”, he said.
He said in order to cushion the immediate effects of the new price regime, government had put in place a number of palliatives which were captured in the 2016 budget.
“The entire 2016 Budget is packed with palliatives.
“Some 500,000 billion naira has been set aside for social intervention that will touch the lives of millions of Nigerians and lift millions more out of poverty.
“Five hundred thousand graduates are to be employed and trained as teachers and 370,000 non-graduates (artisans, technicians) will be trained and employed.
“Also, 1.6 million people (farmers, market women, etc) to be granted loans to set up small businesses and Conditional Cash Transfer will be made to the most vulnerable people.
“There is also school feeding targeting 5.5 million school children as well as Bursaries/Scholarships for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students”, he said.