Femi Falana meets Tinubu over subsidy crisis, anti-corruption

Human rights attorney Femi Falana was at the Presidential Villa on Saturday for a meeting with President Bola Tinubu.

The meeting hinged largely on Mr Falana’s quest to help resolve the looming industrial action by labour unions over the removal of subsidy, sources said. The new phase of anti-corruption efforts under Mr Tinubu was also discussed.

Mr Falana, who has for decades represented the Nigeria Labour Congress and other industrial unions across the country, says the meeting was necessary to avert a strike that could cripple the country’s wobbling economy further.

“It is true that I met with President Tinubu on Saturday,” Mr Falana said. “We discussed subsidy and how to tackle waste in government and recover looted funds. The aim is just to ensure that the economy picks up quickly.

Mr Falana said the fight against corruption collapsed under former President Muhammadu Buhari after his appointees began looting public funds unchecked.

“We need to reinvigorate the anti-corruption war,” Mr Falana said. “It collapsed under the Buhari regime with (former attorney-general) Abubakar Malami and others looting the treasury and frustrating the anti-corruption efforts.”

Labour unions have vowed to proceed on a painful strike across the country if Mr Tinubu fails to back down on the subsidy removal or enumerate a clear plan to ameliorate the suffering fo the Nigerian masses that will follow the elimination of petrol subsidies, which have been in place since the 1970s.

Mr Tinubu argued that subsidies on petroleum have, over the decades, benefitted Nigeria’s rich and upper working class to the detriment of the poor. He vowed to divert savings from the removal to shore up infrastructure spending, as well as poverty-alleviation initiatives that target the country’s masses.

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