The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) held its meeting on Friday 23rd February, 2018 at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, to deliberate on the state of the nation and the challenges confronting the labour movement, and resolved as follows:
1. Insecurity In The Country
The NEC-In-Session is worried about the security situation in the country and in particular condemned the recent killings across the country by Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and militiamen. The NEC enjoined Federal Government to take drastic action to build citizens confidence in the system and ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to book.
2. Volatile Political System And 2019 Election Campaign
The NEC-In-Session observed that our political terrain has become volatile once again and therefore enjoins all political leaders to ensure that peace and order are maintained amongst their followers. Politicians should avoid hate speeches so that both the common man and workers can attain fulfillment. The NEC-in-Session also calls on the Governors owing workers to pay and not convert public funds and workers salaries for election purposes.
3. The Lingering Fuel Crisis
The NEC-in-session after deliberation resolved that the current situation in which the NNPC is the sole provider of fuel to the nation and absorbing subsidies is not healthy for the nation and the corporation. Consequently TUC advises government to reimburse the NNPC so as to enable it to perform its primary obligation to the country.
Federal Government should begin the immediate payment of all outstanding subsidy claims by the petroleum marketers under the PPPRA-administered Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) to avoid consequential job losses which the nation can least afford. These delays are also stopping the payments of wages/salaries in the downstream sector in a scary dimension which must not be allowed to degenerate further. It is expected that the Government would engage the Marketers as social partners under a special intervention arrangement that enables product marketer purchase foreign exchange (FOREX) at concessionary rates from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This will keep the prices at their current levels as well as encourage more participants.
Government is called on to revamp the public owned refineries as well.
4. Speeding Up of Minimum Wage
The NEC-In-Session commends the Federal Government for the commencement of the Minimum Wage Committee and implores the Committee to speed up proceedings to ensure that a new minimum wage will take effect not later than the agreed third quarter of the year.
5. Pension and Gratuity of Public Servants
The NEC-in-Session observed that the fight against corruption will not achieve the desired result without addressing the injustices being perpetrated by political office holders who collect multiple pensions and gratuities while still serving government in another capacity. This is not good for the economy.
6. Power Sector
The NEC-in-Session calls on the Federal Government to declare emergency in the power sector as no nation can develop without power. TUC recalls with dismay that several billions of naira has been expended in the sector to no avail. The call for tariff hike cannot be a solution and it shall be resisted.