The newly sworn-in leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has vowed to take ‘necessary step’ against the Federal government should the biting scarcity of new naira notes that is meting severe hardship to Nigerians is not brought under control by the ending of this week.
Duly elected to pilot the affairs of NLC in the next four years as its president, Comrade Joe Ajaero, made this known at the international Conference Centre Abuja on Wednesday, when he delivered his acceptance speech as the new president of the Congress.
“We will lead the battle to reclaim Nigeria from the front. In this spirit, the NLC urges the Federal government to take immediate action the deposits of Nigerians it has impounded in the banks across the federation by making cash available. If nothing is done before the end of next week, we shall be forced to take necessary steps.
“ NLC shall ensurethat Nigerians are protected from all anti- people policies and that plunder in governance are reduced to the barest minimum while government is assisted to work for the majority. We shall therefore robustly engage government to stop the impunity and pervasive wickedness currently going on in the country in the name of Petroleum product pricing.
“ The usurpation and use of state power to impoverish the citizenry abuses the ideals of democracy and destroys the nation. Governance ought to provide comfort for the citizenry so, it pains us to witness the increasing frustrations Nigerians have had to go through in the last few months just to fuel their cars and generators, the new phenomenon of black market Naira-buying our own monies at a discount from illegal brokers.”, The NLC president, said.
Expressing the readiness of the new NLC leadership to kick against government policies that impoverishes workers and Nigerian citizens at large, Ajaero said; “ We shall seek to reconnect more strongly to build greater solidarities with the people of Nigeria rising once again to be the carriers of their desires and amplifiers of their voices. We shall not only speak for the 133m Nigerians who are multi-dimensionally poor but shall also seek platforms to lift the shackles of poverty from the shoulders of our people. We shall once again be the true champions of the Nigerian people; crying their cries and jointly waging our wars against all forces of impoverishment and misery.
“ Seeking deeper engagement with governments at all levels more creatively in keeping with our philosophical foundations and traditions. Deepening existing engagements in various areas of our national lives and opening new vistas to expand opportunities for Nigerian workers and people to freely express their capabilities and untie developmental factors upon our nation will be our general focus in the next four years.”
He then said; “ The NLC will pursue with utmost urgency a new national minimum wage law that would take into consideration the objective realities of our socio-economy; expand its reach to capture more workers and create variables and thresholds for automatic adjustment of the nation’s wage floor to avoid unnecessary politicking and impunity by our employers and reduce the suffering of Nigerian workers.
“We urge all employers of labour who have unsettled labour issues with their workers and unions to immediately resolve them to avoid our intervention.
“ The current Electricity tariff and provisioning remains stacked against Nigerian workers and masses and we shall therefore work with government to bring sanity to bear to that sector. We urge the federal government again to review the privatization of the Electricity sector; a process both the government and all of us have agreed was mired in corruption.”
Ajaero went on to say that governance in Nigeria have broken all known records for bad governance. He added that NLC under his leadership will definitely not keep quiet in the face of the deliberate defilement of citizenship by the ruling elite. He hinted he will mobilise variously across the nation to nudge the government to act more responsibly towards the citizenry and seek ways of alleviating the suffering that currently walks our streets with arrogance.
On 2023 general elections, he said; “The Electoral umpire must ensure a transparent and equitable conduct of the elections at all levels while we urge all Nigerians to seize the opportunity which this presents to vote the right people into positions of power. Those that are destroying our nation and stealing our collective patrimony must not be allowed any longer in our corridors of power. We should therefore vote the candidates who have the Competence and character to deliver on these demands come February and March.
“As Nigerians, we must not allow them divide us along religious and regional lines. Our demands on the Nigerian State are basically the same. We have unwaveringly asked for a secure nation where we can move freely and carry out our daily activities without violently losing our lives and properties.
“We have demanded equity and fairness in the sharing of our nation’s resources, more functional and accessible education system for our children, Increasing access to high quality medical care, high quality road infrastructure, increasing access to nutrition and generally elevating the factors that increases human wellbeing.
“We pledge to continue to champion the demands of Nigerians; amplifying and pursuing their attainment shall be our utmost consideration as leaders of the NLC in the elections. Our position as to where we stand has been well canvassed in the nation’s media and has not changed.”
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