TUC tasks Buhari on high cost of governance, minimum wage
MEMBERS of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have enjoined the in-coming administration of General Muhamadu Buhari to reduce drastically high cost of governance in the country.
Rising from Its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Lagos, the union emphasised need to cut down on political appointments, adding that a “situation whereby lawmakers fix their own salaries and allowances must be discouraged and discontinued”.
The union also urged the incoming government to review the salaries and allowances of workers.
The congress condemned all the State Governments owing workers’ salaries, describing it as unhealthy for the nation.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting noted that the minimum wage of eighteen thousand naira (N18, 000.00) “which is less than $90, has not been implemented in some States”.
It called on the Federal Government to halt the continued scarcity of petroleum products “as it impacts negatively on all components of the Nigerian economy”.
The communique called on the Government to immediately reconvene a stakeholders meeting to address the controversies with the marketers with a view to urgently resolving the demand and supply deficit while concrete steps should be taken on the issue of local refining as part of measures to put a stop to the issue of importation of petroleum products and payment of subsidy.
The communique signed by TUC President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and Secretary General, Musa Lawal reiterated its condemnation of the Government for the non-inclusion of TUC in the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) “inspite of the amendment to the laws establishing the labour centres”.
According to the communique, TUC NEC frowns at “the situation in which labour laws are being reviewed by the NLAC to the exclusion of the TUC, pointing out that “The NEC-in-session warns for the umpteenth time that it shall no longer tolerate the flagrant violation of the trade union rights of its members, whom it is duty bound to represent and consult on their behalf on labour matters in the country”.
Members of the union also frowned at the way and manner public office holders are paying themselves severance benefits running into billions of naira without addressing the legitimate concerns of the workers on the issue of pension and gratuity. The Congress called on the incoming government to restore payment of gratuity along with pension.
Part of the communique read: “ The NEC-in-session commends the Federal Government and the Armed Forces on the intense manner with which the issue of insurgency is being tackled in the North Eastern part of the country.
“It therefore called on Federal Government to step up more efforts to make sure that killings, kidnapping and insurgency in the country are totally wiped out and save the country from total collapse. It calls on the Government to adequately equip and motivate the armed forces and make provision for the rehabilitation of the displaced persons.
“NEC-in-session observed that to strengthen the war against corruption, the principle of separation of power must be maintained, thus the judiciary must be independent of the executive.
“The Chief Justice of the Federation and Chief Judge of each State should not be appointed by President and Governors; and Judges should not stay in the office at the pleasure of the President or Governors. The NEC-in-session essentially called on the Government on the need to strengthen the policies and institutional framework and put in place credible individuals to curb all forms of anti-corruption practices”, said the communique.
Making reference to the industrial crisis at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), members of TUC reviewed the anti-labour activities of most government and organisations, “orchestrating the impunity of throwing workers into labour market and resolved that unless they desist, the entire force of the Congress will be brought to bear on any defaulter(s)”.
The NEC-in-session condemned in its entirety the alleged anti-labour activities of the Director-General, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which according to the communique has led to the on-going industrial crisis and the “virtual collapse of the agency”.
The union also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to save the organisation.
The NEC-in-session appealed with President Jonathan to as a matter of urgency fulfill the promise to JOHESU on February 1st 2015 that all the demands of the union will be met immediately after the national election.