We’re Not Part Of NLC Planned Nationwide Protest – TUC

We’re Not Part Of NLC Planned Nationwide Protest – TUC

TUC lists what the Federal Government should do
2 months ago
3 mins read

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has announced that it is not part of the proposed two-day nationwide protest against economic hardship by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) beginning today, February 27.

TUC President, Festus Usifo, who made this known during a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, said they were not part of the process, meeting, and declaration of embarking on street protest slated for February 27 and 28, 2024.

He explained that NLC’s protest for economic hardship was not related to the initial 14-day ultimatum given to the Federal government because of the non-implementation of the agreement on wage awards, salary increase, CNG buses, and others reached with government in October 2023.

“It is where you agree that you want to do something jointly that this is the way to go. And along the line, you decided that you are not doing it again, that one will be talking out opting out. There was no initial agreement to embark on the protest. Whenever we are doing things together, you always see us coming together and addressing you.

“On that particular day the ultimatum for the protest was issued, did you see any member of TUC there? “

He said that in the trade union movement, there are different approaches to calling government to order.

Usifo said TUC will engage the Federal Government with demands of solution to the current challenges as they affect workers.

“We will engage government with the solution points we listed here today. We will push government, discuss with them, have conversations with them, have meetings with them, proffer the solutions that we have put forward.”

The Trade Union Congress further lists its solution demands from government to include: “ Determination of Real Value of Naira, New Minimum Wage, Custom Exchange Rate for Goods used in Manufacturing, Allegation that sub Nationals throw billions of Dollars Monthly into the Parallel Market, Dollarization of Political Party Primaries and Electioneering, Clamp down on speculative trading in the foreign exchange market, Patronizing Made in Nigeria Goods, Strengthening the Economic Management Team, Time to stop following the dictate of IMF and World Bank, Effectively supervising the activities of Banks, Curbing Crude Oil Theft and Increasing Investment in enhancing Oil and Gas Production, Curbing Insecurity for Farmers to Return to Farm, Temporary Importation of Food from Abroad, Local Refinery of Crude Oil.”

Osifo further said some of the demands are for immediate implementation, while others can be implemented in the medium and long term. “That means some of them may not be implemented in one year. But we believe that those ones that can be implemented immediately, should be done. I believe that if government goes ahead to do those things. Most of the problems that we are facing today, will be eased off.

“We are not proffering solutions that is not practicable. It is a solution that is feasible, a solution that is possible. If the number one alone is implemented, I can tell you that the high cost of living we are facing today will reduce,” Usifo asserted.

NLC and TUC had earlier given the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum following the failure of the government to implement the agreement it reached organised labour in October 2023.

Usifo faulted the approach of the NLC to the ultimatum they jointly gave, saying that the situation of things ought to be thoroughly reviewed at least two or three days to the end of that ultimatum to see what has been done and what hasn’t been done by the government among the demands made before they decide the next line of action.

“So when we issued that ultimatum, government invited us we started engaging and we told them the quick wins that must be achieved if you want us not to go on strike. So a meeting was held on Monday. The ultimatum was served on Thursday and a meeting was held on Monday. So when we had that meeting, we went through everything and we told them you have not done this, you have not done that. They said okay, fine. That they are going to act. Remember before the ultimatum was given, one one-month wage award was paid in September. But as we speak today, before the expiration of that ultimatum they paid 4 months addition.

“Remember we had a challenge with RTEAN. We went to Lagos, we protested and it was part of the agreement with the government. But as we speak within the life of that ultimatum, the RTEAN issue has been completely resolved. Then visitation to the refinery, within the life of the ultimatum also, the government fixed a date and we have visited the refinery. We also said the money you owe ASUU you must pay. And as of today, we have also learned that they have paid for four months. So we gave an ultimatum earlier because we didn’t see any level of demonstrations but as of today, they have started doing some work on the agreements.

“So if you give an ultimatum to say; if you don’t do this I will do that. If the other party does its own part, then you now have to also sit down to review.

 

 

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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