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NLC blasts political parties over in-fighting, ideological emptiness

By Garba Ahmad, Kaduna on 15/11/2013

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The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has decried what it described as lack of ideological base for the nation’s political parties.

According to the NLC Vice President, Issa Aremu, the Second Republic political parties were more focused as they had tangible programmes for the development of the country.

“In those days, the UPN stood for free education, the NPN stood for houses, the PRP stood for redemption for the poor while the GNPP stood for politics without bitterness,” Aremu said.

He spoke yesterday in Kaduna in keynote address he presented at a conference organised by the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Kaduna Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).

In his paper titled ‘Nigeria’s economy in the 21st century; a determinant for 2015 elections,’ Aremu also lamented the current infighting among the political parties.

According to him, the disagreement within the parties is not based on issues that will lead to the development of the country.

As he put it, “the disagreement is not about bad roads, electricity, closed factories or massive unemployment.”

He said that government should take measures for re-industrialisation of the country for any meaningful development to take place.

Aremu’s words: “Industrialisation is at the heart of development discourse as it delineates between growth and development of nations.

“Where the economy is diversified, industrialisation serves as a source of foreign exchange and it also serves as a source of employment for greater number of the population and invariably reduces income poverty.

“The contribution of manufacturing to the GDP which has been declining over the years reached a level of only about six per cent in 1996.

“The sector’s utilisation of local raw materials is only about 55 per cent of total industrial input

“Linkages between manufacturing and other sectors remain weak and manufacturing contributes only about 0.5 per cent of Nigeria’s export earnings.

“The structure of the economy remains unchanged and the economy is still mono-cultural, the primary product now being crude oil, instead of agricultural produce as it was in the 60s and 70s.”

Also speaking at the programme, Chairman of the occasion, a former Commander of Infantry Corps Centre, Nigerian Army, Jaji, Major-Gen. Mohammed Danhanne Isa (rtd.), described the theme of the conference as timely, considering the current security challenges in the country.

He said that no investors would invest in a place where there is no security of lives and property.

Maj.-Gen. Isa lamented that over 30 per cent of school-age children in the North-East are out of school as a result of the security situation in that part of the country.

In his welcome address, Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Mr. Luka Binniyat, said that the conference tagged, “Nigeria’s democracy and emerging security challenges,” was the union’s modest contribution towards addressing the state of insecurity in the land.

According to him, “We are in a state of heavy but undeclared war with ourselves in virtually every aspect of existence, made worse since the coming of this democracy.”

•Photo shows NLC Vice President, Issa Aremu.

Source News Express

Posted 15/11/2013 2:59:49 PM


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