Posted by News Express | 7 April 2016 | 2,324 times
Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has joined other Nigerians to remind the Federal Government that the economy is grounded, thus demanding that urgent steps is taken to restore the life of the Nigerian economy.
The Congress in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Bobboi Kagama, bemoans the unpleasant situation in the country which has obviously stifled the economy and claimed thousands of jobs due to closure of companies.
Part of the statement issued yesterday reads, “Aside fuel scarcity , the dearth of US dollars has made it impossible for firms to repay foreign loans and import needed materials for production of which the consequences is mass sack of workers.”
The Congress maintained that its role as a labour centre is multifaceted. It said: “We are saddled with the responsibility of functioning as change agents and watchdogs of both government and private businesses, with the issue of workers welfare as priority.
“But of late, our desk has been inundated with industrial issues, ranging from redundancy complaints to anti-labour practices, casualisation of workers to outright termination of employment. All these are caused because of unfriendly business environment.
“For instance, the food and beverage sector alone in the last few months has lost over 500 employees. The Naira currently exchanges for N197 to a dollar at the official window and N320 at the parallel market, and firms that borrowed dollar-denominated loans are facing the risk of foreclosure on assets pledged as collateral and loss of credibility among creditors because of exchange rate fluctuations.”
On the issue of power, TUC demanded that the power distribution companies should stop sending so-called “estimated” billing system to Nigerians calling it a fraud.
TUC said: “They are defrauding consumers while the government consistently looks the other way. How else do we explain the fact that Nigerians are paying for services not rendered? We recall that the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, prior to the 2015 elections said ‘any government that cannot fix power in six months is irresponsible’. Should we now say that both the minister and the present administration are irresponsible? Or shall we now conclude that this administration is conspiring with operators in the power sector to rip Nigerians off?”
Equally worrisome to the Congress is the lingering fuel scarcity that appears to defy all solutions in a country that is the sixth largest oil producer in the world.
It lamented: “We have become a laughing stock amongst the comity of nations. The man hours lost in traffic jams due to long fuel queues have become unimaginable. As it stands now, virtually all sectors of the economy are groaning in serious and unbearable pain.
“We are adverse to people blaming any particular political party for the ordeals of the country. The people voted for the present federal administration because they desire change. We need to see that change now. (Nigerian Pilot)
•Photo shows TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kagama.
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