The leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has described the idea behind the proposed removal of the subsidy on petroleum products next year by the Federal Government as evil.
Delivering a key note address at the auditorium of the main campus of the Anambra state University, Uli (ANSU) during the Executive Council meeting of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) South-East/South-South at the weekend, the SSANU chairman, Comrade Vincent Asoegwu cautioned the FG to drop the move in the interest of suffering masses.
The labour chief noted with dismay that even the figures of the alleged subsidy have been varying from N1.2trillion to N1.3trillion. That even the Senate, apparently befuddled by the varying figures has smelt a rat and want to probe the whole thing to unravel who actually benefits from the so-called subsidy.
Asoegwu who is also the chairman of the Joint Action Council(JAC) of the university insisted that the subsidy removal proposal should be jettisoned in the interest of peace and harmony for all citizens. He doubted if any such thing as subsidy existed at all, or it’s a gimmick the authorities like falling back on whenever they want to devalue the nation’s currency.
According to him, “if it costs the FG up to N2trillion to subsidize petroleum products, so be it. After all this is the only benefit the common man enjoys from our National Wealth”. He observed also that the chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum, Senator Ayogu Eze has canvassed for the battering of refined products with crude oil.
On the lingering crisis over the minimum wage payment within the states, he commended the initiative of Owelle Rochas Okorocha who has gone beyond the vexed N18,000 to sign agreement to Imo state workers N20,000 as minimum wage. While encouraging other governors to emulate him, Asoegwu drew the attention of Anambra Gov Peter Obi to the Imo example and stop playing to the gallery always.
The Vice Chancellor of the University who declared the meeting open commended the workers for their maturity in handling industrial matters so far.