A Press Release
THE POSITION OF NIGERIAN WORKERS ON FESTERING ISSUES OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has observed the resurgence of a number of festering issues of national importance particularly the recent Supreme Court judgement on Executive Order 10 which provided guidelines for the implementation of autonomy for the local government councils, state legislatures and the judiciary, ongoing ASUU strike, and the current petrol scarcity across the country.
We respect the judgement of the Supreme Court on Executive Order 10 declared by President Muhammadu Buhari to provide guideline for the implementation of the autonomy of local governments, state legislatures and the judiciary. Yet, we are also mindful of the fact that the judgement of the Supreme Court did not impeach the Constitutional provisions prescribing and protecting the autonomy of local governments, state legislature and the Judiciary.
The Nigeria Labour Congress wishes to categorically restate its full-fledged support for the autonomy of local governments, state houses of assembly and the judiciary. It is our considered view that the autonomy of these critical tier and arms of government is paramount to our collective commitment to strengthen public institutions for effective delivery of good governance and national development.
In further demonstration of our resolve to entrench the autonomy of local governments, state legislatures and the judiciary, we will continue to clamour for the strengthening of the autonomy of these critical institutions of government in the ongoing constitution review and amendment. We will also embark on a number of national actions and campaigns to raise public awareness on this critical issue.
Ancillary to local government autonomy is the need to strengthen democratic governance at the grassroots. Our experience since the creation of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) is a tale of massive abuse and truncation of free, fair and periodic elections at the local government councils. Nigerian workers support the current amendment to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections all over Nigeria. We call on all well-meaning Nigerians especially members of State Houses of Assembly to look beyond partisan interests and support this patriotic move to restore electoral credibility at the grassroots.
On the ongoing warning strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), we wish to sstate that the current industrial impasse is very unfortunate. The issues in contention include the 2009 Re-negotiated Agreement. The Federal Government took the draft Agreement and promised to consult and return to conclude the signing. The Federal Government is yet to conclude the signing of the agreement. Also, government is yet to honour the terms reached at the May 2021 Agreement signed with ASUU.
In order to protect the future of our youths whose academic life is being disrupted, we urge the Federal Government to implement all the agreements it entered with ASUU. Specifically, we call on government to sign the re-negotiated agreement with ASUU. Furthermore, President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier directed that a Federal Government team should meet with ASUU to resolve all the outstanding issues. We call on relevant MDAs to ensure that Mr. President’s directive is discharged immediately to end the stalemate.
The Nigeria Labour Congress condemns the current petrol scarcity all over the country which has exposed millions of Nigerian drivers and commuters to great hardship. We understand that the current situation is as a result of petroleum products hoarding. We call on all petrol marketers to show sensitivity to the difficulties faced by generality of Nigerians and ensure prompt discharge of petrol to consumers. We also call on relevant regulatory agencies of government to rein in the activities of unscrupulous petroleum products marketers who go devilish miles to make dishonest gains and at the detriment of their fellow citizens. We also state that this situation reinforces our argument for domestic refining of petroleum.
On the National Minimum Wage, following a recent agreement with the Kogi State Government on the implementation, only Abia, Cross River, Zamfara and Taraba state governments are yet to commence implementation of the national minimum wage. We demand that the affected states commence implementation without further delay as acting otherwise is tantamount to breaking Nigeria’s law.
Comrade Ayuba Wabba, mni
16th February 2022