The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, yesterday, gave the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to conclude negotiations or face workers’ protest.
TUC threatened that if after August 19, nothing tangible was concluded it would be forced to take further action to protect members and the masses from unending hardship….CONTINUE READING
Briefing journalists in Abuja, the TUC President, Festus Osifo, among others, said “As of today we have formed technical committees on cash transfers, on intervention fund on reduction of cost of governance, on energy and power (developing compressed Natural Gas, CNG as an alternative to PMS) and fixing of refineries. We also have technical committees on education and health and Mass Transit. Our position is that government should fast-track action and processes concluded to ensure that the sufferings of Nigerians are ameliorated.
“Government gave a timeline of eight weeks, beginning from June 19, and if you do your calculation, eight weeks is going to end by August 19. So, far we have stayed for more than one month and we felt that we are not going at the speed we anticipated we want the government to fast tract action to ensure that between now and the next two weeks all the committees must have submitted their report so that the Presidential Steering Committee can conclude its work immediately because we cannot continue to blow big, big grammar while Nigerians are suffering and people are trekking long distances to work.”
The TUC president said the elected leaders will need to show examples in view of the harsh economic conditions the facing country.
Osifo cited the case of the proposed N40 billion and N70 billion meant for the purchase of vehicles for National Assembly members and their welfare package, saying “This is one of those things we feel that as TUC we must bring to the limelight and do everything possible to ensure government listens to us and that government fast track. TUC is ready to meet even at midnight and at weekends.
He said “We are ready to work because the plight of Nigerian workers is our great concern because anything that will affect Nigerian workers is what we will fight to correct. Beyond the workers, it is also about the well-being of the masses because we have a lot of Nigerians that are today unemployed.
“So what we are canvassing across these technical committees is that anything that you put in place should have in the basket the issue of alternative and cheaper energy like the CNG, palliatives that will better the lives of the people and the issue of reduction of cost governance.”
“We have exceeded the belt holes while those in government have continuously increased their largesse. They must lead by example, the executive, legislative and judiciary arms government must lead from the front and Nigerians will follow them from behind.
“But a situation they are pushing a lot Nigerians into poverty line while they are living in opulence, we will not allow that to happen If the National Assembly cannot give clear-cut justification of what they doing, we will lead the entire Nigerian masses to besiege the chambers because for us we think that injury to one is an injury to all.”
Osifo also said what Nigerians desire right now is for the government at the national and state levels to implement policies that can lead to reduction in cost of living rather action would inflate it….CONTINUE READING