‘Change’ Must Encapsulate Job, Food Security, TUC Tells Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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‘Change’ Must Encapsulate Job, Food Security, TUC Tells Buhari

Posted: Nov 6, 2015 at 11:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Innocent Oweh, Abuja

President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Bala Kaigama, has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to make job and food security his major priority, as such would form the basis for assessing his four-year administration by Nigerians.

Kaigama, who was obviously reacting to imminent job loss in major construction firms, such as Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, said Nigerians are yet to see the ‘Change mantra’ of the Federal Government over five months since the administration came on board.

At the flag-off of the 10th Trienniel Delegates Conference of Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA) in Abuja on Thursday, he said that it was not enough for Buhari to go after corrupt individuals, he must also feel the pulse of Nigerians concerning their job and food security.

He said: “TUC sympathises with those of you working in the construction industry because you are usually the first victims in any change in government, new government when they come on board will launch verification into all contractual arrangements.

“President Buhari should know that the change mantra should not be limited to going after corrupt individuals only, but also providing jobs and protecting workers, providing social security and then we will know change has come.

“We are prepared to support the government to ensure that we have good governance, to ensure that our members retain their decent jobs, to ensure that Mr. President moves to fight corruption, and to also ensure he fights insurgency.”

Meanwhile, Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, Detlev Lubasach, revealed at the occasion that massive job cut was inevitable because of huge debts owed the company and other construction firms.

Beyond the current economic constraints, Lubasach said that the immediate past administration was unable to meet payments even for jobs already completed and handed over to government.

“Our industry is in dire straits, occasioned by non-payment for ongoing and already completed jobs. As you all know, the construction industry is majorly engaged by the government, Federal, State and Local, with little patronage from corporate entities and private individuals.

“In view of this, any distortion in the income equilibrium of our major clients will definitely affect the income and cash flow of the construction companies. As a consequence of this, construction companies are unable to sustain the existing structures in terms of meeting its obligations to staff and sub-contractors.

“lt therefore became imminent that there must be staff reduction as well as other cost saving measures. It is only to keep the industry afloat currently, most companies are working far below their capacity, which is neither healthy for the Industry nor for the country.

“In such a very difficult situation, you will agree with me that all hands must be on deck to salvage our industry,” Lubasach stated.