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Reduce salaries of politicians, not workers, TUC tells FG

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President of TUC, Quadri Olaleye

Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has advised government to focus on reducing salaries of political office holders not workers, in its move to bring down the cost of governance.

In a statement, yesterday, TUC said it had become imperative for government to reduce the cost of governance but it must be done the right way.

President and Secretary General of TUC, Quadri Olaleye and Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said time had come for the take home of political office holders to be significantly reduced, claiming that the country was paying them for nothing.

According to the labour union, it is preposterous, wicked and ungodly for the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to come up with the idea of reducing salaries at a time the country is still grappling with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with millions of Nigerians rendered jobless and N30, 000 minimum wage which has been rubbished by the high rate of inflation.

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TUC, which called on government to ensure protection of jobs, said reduction of the cost of governance should start with the executive, National Assembly, House of Assembly, chairmen of local governments, councillors and aides to politicians.

As the minister of finance, the union said it had expected Ahmed and her ministry to collaborate with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to come up with policies that would shape the country economically.

“Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) have continued to dwindle in the country despite its economic potential. Investors are discouraged from investing due to insecurity, unfavourable policies or a general lack of suitable business environment. Maybe she is not aware that Ghana has become a business hob for investors?

“The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, nay Nigerians, believes the government knows the right thing to do to cut down the cost of governance, what it actually lacks is the political will to do so. Events of the recent past have shown that workers are not the problem but the appointees of government who are responsible for the sorry state of the country. They brought every strata of the country to its knee. It is a pity,” TUC lamented in the statement.

According to the congress, “Our politicians have so much money which is why they can arm thugs (idle youths) to snatch ballot boxes during elections; give bribe; launder money thereby creating scarcity of forex; buy houses abroad and do other despicable things. They are busy doing all these while someone is busy pushing for a slash of salary of the impoverished workers. This is a clear case of misplaced priority. We are saddened by this.”

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