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Buhari Losing Face Before Nigerians – Labour

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Posted: Apr 6, 2016 at 5:54 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

…NLC, TUC Threaten Strike Over Fuel, Power Crises

 

 

Innocent Oweh ABUJA

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Wednesday assessed the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the last 10 months and came to the conclusion that it was losing credibility in the eyes of Nigerians.

This, Labour said, was due to the myriad of challenges confronting the citizenry.

NLC’s leadership, which highlighted the sufferings inflicted on Nigerians as a result of persistent scarcity of petroleum products and arbitrary increase in electricity tariff even in the face of inconsistent payment of salaries of workers, also resolved to stage a one-day nationwide strike to protest the irregularities.

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, bemoaned the situation shortly after the union rose from its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting in Abuja Wednesday, where they criticised Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) over purported plans to increase fuel price.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) supported NLC’s position when Bobboi Bala Kaigama, its president, said the country had been stifled economically because of ongoing challenges.

He claimed that thousands of Nigerians might lose their jobs due to closure of companies in the coming months, adding that the situation might also be compounded by dearth of U.S. dollars, which has made it impossible for firms to repay foreign loans and import materials for production.

“The food and beverage sector alone in the last few months has lost over 500 employees, the naira currently exchanges for N197 to a dollar at the official window and N320 at the parallel market, and firms that borrowed dollar-denominated loans are facing the risk of foreclosure on assets pledged as collateral and loss of credibility among creditors because of exchange rate fluctuations,” Kaigama said.

Kaigama also decried the lingering fuel scarcity, saying it appears it has defied all solutions: “In a country that is the sixth largest oil producer in the world. We have become a laughing stock in the comity of nations. The man-hours lost in traffic jams due to long fuel queues has become unimaginable. As it stands now virtually all sectors of the economy are groaning in serious and unbearable pain.”

Wabba said the disposition of government had clearly shown that it was pitched against the people. when it should take their welfare as priority.

Wabba said plans by government to increase fuel prices even when it has not been able to provide the product adequately was an illegality.

“We dare say that one of the fastest ways for government to lose its credibility before the ordinary citizenry is scarcity of petroleum products because the combined effects of scarcity of petroleum products and low power supply create misery for the people as well as have a damning impact on travel, jobs, productivity and the economy as a whole,” Wabba said.

 

 

 

More details in Independent (Print Editions)on Thursday…