Nigerian workers under the aegis of Trade Union Congress (TUC) has expressed opposition to the newly introduced N70,000 for procurement of international passport by Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
Bobboi Bala Kaigama, TUC President and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, TUC Secretary General who gave this position via a statement made available to our correspondent, frowned at government’s antics to strip the citizens of their hard-earned salaries, despite refusal to accede to the N30,000 new minimum wage.
“We have received with shock the move by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to raise the price of new International passport to N70,000 effective from March 4th 2019. This is condemnable and insensitive on the part of the agency.
“Sometimes one wonders where our privileged Nigerians think from. For over two years now we have been fighting for a new wage of N30,000 without any meaningful breakthrough. Only yesterday we read that the Council of State, which was never a part of the tripartite committee set up by the Federal Government pegged the new wage at N27,000.
“By implication if this anti-masses conspiracy is allowed to scale through it then means a civil servant would have to save his salary for three months to be able to pay for a passport. What about feeding, rent, school fees and other utilities? This will not work.
“Come to think of it, we have not even received the new wage, yet government and its agencies are already devising numerous avenues to get the money back. Who knows what Customs, FRSC, FIRS, etc have in the offing?
“Most Nigerians who cannot get National Identify Card prefer to use the International Passport for transactions. Unfortunately, that opportunity is about to be scuttled because of greed and avarice.
“If the concern of government is to stop Nigerians from traveling, that may not work as they have failed to make the country habitable by creating jobs, infrastructure, good schools, healthcare, etc. Is it not despicable that Ghana is now doing far better in FDI? Telling us whenever we ask for a wage increase that the price of crude has dropped is not fair.
“Crude is not our only source of revenue. Nigerians all over the world in their millions renew their International Passports weekly, if not daily. Where is the money? We expect that in this era of integrity there should be accountability.
“The Congress condemns in its entirety what the NIS has proposed, and may adopt any measure we consider right to ensure that the new International passport does not exceed N50,000,” the TUC leaders urged.