Economic Hardship: Informal Workers Declare Support To Join Labour’s Planned Protests

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The Federation of Informal Workers of Nigeria (FIWON) has declared solidarity to the National Labour Congress (NLC), on its planned nationwide protests.

 

This was as the organisation lamented the implementation of several policies that have worsened the plight of workers in the informal sector.

The organisation in a press release signed and issued by the President, Frances Bamidele Onokpe and the General Secretary, Gbenga Komolafe, said informal workers are ready to join the Labour and storm the streets to press home their demands of a working Nigeria.

It would be recalled that the Labour had announced its decision to hold a nationwide protest scheduled for February 27 and 28 over the failure of the federal government to address the biting economic hardship in the country.

In the statement dated February 23, 2024, the body noted that workers in Nigeria have been facing extraordinary challenges since the Federal Government’s removal of fuel subsidy, calling for the reversal of fuel prices, repair of local refineries, among other demands.

The statement reads in part, “The Federation of Informal Workers’ Organizations of Nigeria (FIWON) will therefore join other civil society organizations to protest commencing next week against this situation with the following demands:

• Government should repair all local refineries within the next 6 months

• Reversal of the fuel pump price to pre-29 May prices

• Stop and reverse the free fall of the naira with immediate effect: the free market floating of the naira has benefited only a few rich people with dollars while making goods and services more expensive for poor people.

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• Halt the restriction of movement of food items from the North to the South: It worsens food scarcity in the South and makes it impossible for farmers in the North to sell their produce and gain revenue to buy other essentials apart from food.

• Nothing for us without us: Social safety nets targeting workers in the informal economy must be disbursed through organisations of the working people themselves to avoid a few government officials stealing palliative measures designed to help the working poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

• Provision of free and quality education as a right. Education should not be a commodity to make money.

• Universal access to quality public health services: the health insurance schemes is not working in the informal sector because of irregular incomes to pay.

• Tax the rich and reduce the large amounts paid to public officers: To stop hunger and fund social services, government officials’ current pay should be reduced by 50% while super rich people should be made to pay more tax to free resources to take care of social services.

•Stop demolition of public spaces and work clusters where informal people work, without providing affordable alternatives.

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