The Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associate Institutions, SSAUTHRIAI has alleged that the N500bn palliative package offered by the Federal Government to cushion the effects of the last increase in the pump price of fuel may be ‘missing’.
The organisation, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, said this while expressing concern over the lukewarm attitude of government towards the plights of Nigerian workers.
The President of SSAUTHRIAI, Benjamin Akintola, stated this during the opening ceremony of its two-day sectoral council meeting held at the National Metallurgical Development Centre in Jos, Plateau State.
He said, “I was there when the TUC and Nigeria Labour Congress were discussing one night at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation when they were to increase the fuel price from N86 to N145 and it was stated that N500bn was included in the 2016 budget as a palliative. They set up a committee; in fact it was that N500bn that divided TUC and NLC.
“The TUC said that since the government said they had put that amount in the budget as a palliative, there was no need to go on strike. But the NLC said they were going on strike. That was how the unions were divided.
“The N500bn is nowhere to be found till this moment. Whether it is missing, we don’t know. The committee was set up. I read the report. We were to be given N20 per cent across board to serve as transport allowance because of the increment in the pump price of fuel. It was never implemented.”
He expressed concern over the attitude of government functionaries, including ministers.