NLC To Tinubu: You're Insensitive To Sufferings Of Nigerians, Fails To Fulfil Promises  

NLC To Tinubu: You’re Insensitive To Sufferings Of Nigerians, Fails To Fulfil Promises  

2 months ago
4 mins read

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said President Bola Tinubu is oblivious of the economic hardships endured by millions of Nigerians since he assumed office.

It said the president is instead preoccupied with politics and prospects of future elections.

NLC stated this in response to President Tinubu’s comment regarding the protest organised by the labour union over failure of the federal government to meet their demands.

READ ALSO: Hardship: NLC Suspends Protest, Extends Ultimatum To Continue Dialogue With Nigerian Govt

President Tinubu had during the inauguration of the Lagos Red Line Project on Thursday, slammed Labour unions, for embarking on protests. He told them to stop their protests and maintain peace as they are not the only voice for Nigerians.

The president further asked the labour unions to wait for 2027 if they want to participate in the election.

Responding, NLC in a statement signed by its national president, Joe Ajero, said it is only interested in seeing the federal government implement the agreement reach with organised labour to mitigate sufferings of Nigerians caused by the removal of subsidies on petrol. It further said that members of the union are not interested in any political position including the president’s office as he insinuated.

NLC said it is shocked that the president has instead of genuinely working towards seeing that his administration fulfils the promises made to labour unions to mitigate the sufferings of Nigerians, has resorted to political rhetorics.

“It is regrettable that the President seems oblivious of the profound hardships endured by millions of Nigerians. The pervasive hunger, unemployment, housing insecurity, and escalating costs of basic necessities such as food and healthcare demand immediate attention and decisive action,” NLC said in the statement.

”Yet, instead of addressing these pressing concerns, President Tinubu appears preoccupied with political calculations and future electoral prospects.”

It said the NLC’s primary goal is not to seek political positions including office of the president, but their focus is on advocating good governance that prioritises the welfare and security of all Nigerians.

“We urge President Tinubu to redirect his efforts towards fulfilling this fundamental duty of public office, rather than engaging in political rhetoric,” the statement continued.

“It is imperative that we refocus our collective energy on addressing the substantive issues that have been the subject of engagement between labour and the government since June 2023. These include critical matters such as wage increases, social welfare programs, infrastructure development, and the revitalization of key sectors such as education and healthcare.

“In any case to avoid the dissipation of energy, it is important that we focus on the real issues because we have engaged the government since June 2023 after the subsidy is gone statement. The issues are around the non-implementation of agreements reached between us and the government.

“For example, on June 5, 2023, after the hike in the Price of PMS, the following agreements were reached between us and the Government viz; Review Proposal for Wage Increase and Award including framework for timing and implementation.

“Review the program of Cash Transfer and propose inclusion of low-income earners in the program; Review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation; Revive the CNG conversion program; Review the framework for the completion of rehabilitation work on the Nation’s refineries; Review framework for the maintenance of Roads and expansion of Rail networks across the country.”

It said the above aggrements were reached but none of them has been implemented five months after.

“Mr. President, these agreements were reached but the Committee that was saddled with working on these was never inaugurated and none of them was implemented until we were forced to organize a nationwide rally while the president gave his personal commitment. However, Mr. President, nothing came out of your promises.

“It took another round of protests for the October 2, 2023 agreement to be reached. We outline the agreement below so that your government will tell Nigerians which one it has been able to implement. They are; The first item on the Agreement is the N35,000 Wage Award; Port Harcourt Refinery will come on stream by December, 2023; 25,000 cash transfers to 15 million poor households would be implemented; Tax waivers for workers, small businesses and the general public.

“Government interference in the internal affairs of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and RTEAN to be stopped; The agreement will be deposited as settlement with the Court by the Government; That CNG buses and 55,000 conversion kits will be provided; All parties shall henceforth commit to the use of social dialogue in all of our engagements; The National Minimum Wage Committee to be set up immediately; Outstanding Wages and Salaries for Tertiary Education workers in all federally – owned educational institutions to be paid; States and Private sectors to be compelled by the federal government to give Wage Award to workers; Fertilizer initiative to farmers across the nation; Provision of funds for MSMEs across the nation; Visitation to the Refinery to monitor completion of the PH refinery.

“Once again Mr. President, these are the issues and not election or perhaps seeking to take over your job. We would want Mr. President to show us the items his government has implemented in this agreement. Perhaps, the Government wants to tell Nigerians that we do not have the right to ask that it complies with the agreement it willingly reached with us.

“But besides all these, in the two MoUs signed with this government on the 5th of June and October 2nd 2023, which item has his government implemented beside rhetoric? The first MoU has seven items while the second has 15 items. It has been a chain of broken promises not only to Labour but to hungry Nigerians

“President Tinubu’s administration must be held accountable for the commitments made in previous agreements with Labour. It is disheartening to note the apparent lack of progress in implementing these agreements, despite repeated assurances from the government. Nigerians deserve transparency and tangible results, not empty promises and bureaucratic delays.

The labour union further warned that the use of “use of divisive language and veiled threats against Labour by President Tinubu is unacceptable.”

“It is incumbent upon all stakeholders to foster constructive dialogue and collaboration in addressing the myriad challenges facing our nation. Violence and intimidation have no place in a democratic society, and any attempts to suppress dissent will only exacerbate tensions and undermine our collective efforts towards progress and prosperity.

“Finally, the NLC reiterates its unwavering commitment to championing the interests of Nigerian workers and the broader populace. We call upon President Tinubu to heed the voices of ordinary Nigerians, prioritize governance over politics, and take meaningful steps towards building a more inclusive and equitable society.”


Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.


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