How we work
Congress’ leadership is directing the affiliates and state councils based on a renewed commitment to the values of solidarity, commitment to ethics, social relevance and consistency. These are encapsulated in a policy of NLC: A New Beginning the rallying cry of the current leadership of Comrade Ayuba Wabba
The New Beginning is a decisive response to the imperative of rebuilding the movement in a direction that makes it more relevant to union members and other segments of civil society, which believe in its empowering and socially redemptive vision and capacity. It is also about enhancing inter-movement linkages that can help the movement project power in the labour market. In particular, it aims at firming up the capacity of each union and segment through solidarity actions involving the resources, experience and general organisational acumen of the entire movement. This has been demonstrated in the struggle against casualisation labour.
Congress intervention in governance issues and concerns of the society as a whole has also been under the influence of Congress. Thus, today, NLC is widely seen as the voice of the oppressed people, especially in the struggle to invest in the democratic dispensation with dividends.
To give this struggle a credible and sustainable organisational platform, Congress has also facilitated the creation of a pro-democracy coalition of civil society organisations. The nucleus of the network is the trade union movement. Its immediate agenda is to widen the margin of popular participation in governance, is to widen the margin of popular participation in governance, mobilize against military and anti-democratic subversion of civil rule and end the ramified regression of the country.
A second plank has been to create a framework of discourse around the necessity and modalities, for a progressive intervention in the political process. This has led to a strengthened resolve by the movement and the broad civil society to explore the possibility of forming a political party that can:
- Unite the common people around a socially redemptive agenda;
Unite the working people in the light of elite-driven identity politics, which has elevated regional, ethnic and religious considerations as the basis of political discourse and action;
- Challenge the political monopoly of conservative, feudal and neo-colonial forces which continue to deploy looted funds, ethnic and religious caucuses and state power to perpetuate their hegemony; and
- Ideologise political discourse and action by promoting issues that are concretely tied to the fundamental problems of the country, especially its primary producer status, the collapse of the social sectors, the increasing primitivity of elite accumulation and the dysfunctions in the management of the country’s ethnic and religious diversity.
- As part of boosting the movement’s capacity and extending union coverage to a wider segment of society, Congress is looking seriously into the informal sector. Nigeria’s informal sector is quite vast and has become greatly significant in terms of labour absorption and contribution to GDP. Beyond that, its political profile is impressive and has been a factor in the general democratic consolidation agenda. It has managed to resist the might of a state that still regards its activities at best as avenues of fiscal extortion and at worst as a nuisance to the landscape.
- For NLC, organising this sector is conceived in terms of a movement-building mission, which seeks to make the informal sector a popular movement with values based on which it can forge a mutually empowering organic relationship with the trade unions.