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TUC flays FG over 774,000 jobs’ scheme

By Gloria Nwafor
12 October 2021   |   3:07 am
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has flayed the Federal Government over 774,000 Special Public Works (SPW) programmes chaired by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo.

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has flayed the Federal Government over 774,000 Special Public Works (SPW) programmes chaired by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo.
 
The labour centre said the three months community service for 774,000 persons in the 774 local government areas earlier in the year was a scam.
 
President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye, said this during the commemoration of the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), organised by the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), with the theme ‘The New Normal: Occupational Health and Safety Challenges Presented by New Technologies’. 
 
“I have not seen anybody who has been employed since the government announced the commencement of 774,000 jobs. This is a scam. How will a university graduate take up a job cutting grass? he queried.”
 


Olaleye, who argued over the number of Nigerians that came out to justify that they got the N20,000 job for the specified period, stated that the government was playing on the intelligence of Nigerians that it has created jobs for the masses.
 
He said it is not the duty of the government to create jobs but to provide the enabling environment for the private sector to create quality jobs for the people. 
   
Speaking on the theme of the day’s celebration, he said Nigerians have the right to decent and productive jobs in freedom, equity, secured with human dignity.
   
In January this year, the Federal Government flagged off the 774,000 jobs, with each participant expected to receive N20,000 for the three months of the contract, which expired in April.
 
With the impact of the pandemic on the workforce, the TUC urged the government to grant workers tax holidays to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
 
He lamented that the government was fond of declaring groundbreaking projects without the projects seeing limelight nor Nigerians witnessing commissioning of such projects.

He said this had led to abandoned projects littered all over the country.
 


“We don’t want any groundbreaking projects but the commissioning. We have more abandoned projects as a result of the groundbreaking,” he added. 
   
President, ASSBIFI, Oyinkan Olasanoye, stressed that the government must use its power under the exclusive legislative list to kick against deliberate violation of minimum conditions of employment by states, corporate and multinational organisations. 
 
She appealed to the government to review the Trade Unions Act, S. 12(4) cap T14, LFN, 2004, saying the section of the Act is being exploited by many organisations against the democratic spirit with which the government enacted it. 
 
Calling for a quick review of the section of the Act, she added: “It is slave labour and unhealthy to engage a graduate of five years or a post-graduate on a salary of N15, 000 per month.” 

Speaking on the theme, Dr. Ekundayo Badejo of Employment Relations and Human Resource Management, University of Lagos, said with the recent Global Rights Index (GRI), workers’ rights have been devastated.
 
He called for the review of Employee Compensation Act (2010), which he said appeared to be quite inadequate in terms of coverage and empowerment, among others.