Group Wants Public Investments Manned By ‘Workers Committees’ | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Group Wants Public Investments Manned By ‘Workers Committees’

Posted: May 17, 2016 at 3:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwudi Nweje


Nigeria will be grounded by mass protests unless the Federal Government and organised labour unions, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) reach an agreement over the hike in petroleum pump price.

The Federal Government and representatives of organised labour went into a meeting on Monday in an effort to avert the nationwide strike which the NLC and TUC plan to commence on Wednesday.

However, ahead of the meeting, the Joint Action Front (JAF), the pro-labour civil society partner of the labour unions has unfolded a two-phased protest to compliment those of the organised labour.

Among the demands of JAF is the immediate and unconditional reversal of the hike in fuel price and electricity tariff; and, demand for massive public investments in industrialisation and infrastructure, energy, rail, road, and mass housing to enhance millions of employment opportunities and wealth creation.

It also demanded that public investments in the energy sector, particularly fuel and electricity be brought “under the democratic control and management of committees of workers, consumers and representatives of the government; who would ensure that they are not opened to looting and collapse.”

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Dr. Dipo Fashina and Comrade Abiodun Aremu, Chairperson and Secretary respectively of JAF, after its emergency mass meeting held on Monday May 15, 2016.

JAF also unveiled a two-phase line of action which it said it will pursue even as it partners with the NLC and TUC in the nationwide strike.

The group called on all Nigerians to use the proposed mass protest to reject, and struggle to defeat the “latest imposition of hardship, punishment and miserable existence on their lives” by the Federal Government.

The group vowed to mobilise its affiliates and allies across the country to join forces with the State councils of NLC and TUC and other CSOs to plan and enforce the strike/ mass actions.

JAF urged Nigerians to reject what it called “the wicked increases in fuel and electricity tariff”, which it said are “a product of the capitalist neoliberal policies of deregulation and privatisation” that “as a rule must make lives miserable for the poor at the expense of the few rich looters.”

It vowed to continue the struggle “for total independence of the country from the rule of the local ruling cabals and their foreign masters.

The statement read in part that “the change we want will unite the vast majority of our people under a government that will organise the working people and oppressed poor to boost our productive capacities and will use the resources for sustainable economic and social advancement; thereby reversing our economic dependency and restoring our dignity as an independent country.

“The Government of the working people will take care of all Nigerians no matter where they come from, their religion, where they live, and their sex. It will care for all Nigerians dehumanised by the rule of the oppressors,” the statement said.