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Thursday, May 30, 2024

TUC National President, Comrade Festus Osifo Should Exemplify Leadership

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PRESS STATEMENT

We have read in the papers malicious and spurious claims made by the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Comrade Festus Osifo, alleging that the Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia, has refused to utilize the wage award and palliative funds released to him by the Federal Government to cushion the current economic situation.

It is safe to say that Festus made those spurious allegations from a place of imagination, or his outing was sponsored against the state governor.

To set the record straight and guide Mr. Festus towards truth-telling, the palliatives meant for the state were judiciously put to use by His Excellency Governor Hyacinth Alia. This was achieved through the purchase of 100 buses for the state-owned transport company to ease transportation expenses for the masses. Additionally, the Governor sourced funds and used the same for payment of WAEC and NECO registration fees for students in public schools.

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Let it be known that the purchase of the 100 Hummer buses alone cost the state more than the ₦2bn sent to the state for subsidy removal palliative. Transportation in the state has drastically reduced, such that routes that the fare was above ₦2,000 is now down to ₦1,000.

These initiatives, among others, explain how the palliatives sent to the state were effectively utilized.

Contrary to Mr. Festus Osifo’s claims, it is evident, even to the blind, that Benue workers have witnessed positive changes since Governor Alia took office, and they are indeed content.

It is worth mentioning here that the palliatives were given to states to be used at the discretion of the state governors to address the top challenges in their respective states. While some state governors used the funds to add small tokens of 10 thousand naira each to their workers’ salaries for a few months, others, like Gov. Alia, invested the money in easing transportation expenses for both workers and other citizens of the state.

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Moreover, without prompting, Gov. Alia decided to constitute a committee on minimum wage. All labour unions, including the TUC, have representatives on that committee. The Governor is willing to implement the recommendations of this committee for the betterment of the workers of the state.

Perhaps Osifo is yet to be properly briefed, Benue workers are happy with their Governor in all ramifications. They recently, in the Congress meeting at the state secretariat, passed a vote of confidence on the governor and pledged their unalloyed loyalty.

As a leader, Mr. Osifo should do better to always cross-check facts before going to press. As a leader, such uninformed disparaging comments may mislead the public and create avoidable tension in the polity.

Sir Tersoo Kula, MNIPR
Chief Press Secretary.

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