NLC Tasks NASS On Workers Welfare | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Business, Labour & Employment

NLC Tasks NASS On Workers Welfare

Posted: Jul 24, 2015 at 12:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sylvester Enoghase –  Lagos


The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed hope in the 8th Senate under the watch of Senator Bukola Saraki to be less opaque, less secretive, and one to witness more transparency, more responsiveness to the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian people, while also charging the NASS with the responsibility of sustaining democracy and ensuring a better workforce and polity.

NLC said this when its leadership, headed by the national president Comrade Ayuba Wabba, paid a courtesy visit to the 8th Senate at the National Assembly in Abuja on Thursday.


The labour movement gave an assurance to collaborate with the legislative arm of government, particularly the senate to truly transform Nigeria to an enviable status among commity of nations.

Ayuba said, “Our leadership is ready to partner with the 8th National Assembly in general and the 8th Senate in particular, so that together, we will work to transform our country from a country that is perpetually tall on ‘potentials’ to a truly great nation with solid democratic foundation, sound democratic principles and dependable public institutions.”

NLC re-presented its quest for a parliamentary liaison office at the national assembly in order to effectively partner with the National Assembly and to have enough staff employed to enable it engage in the legislative processes meaningfully and add value to it.

“One of the promises we made to Nigerian workers upon which we were elected is that we will revamp our parliamentary interactions at both the national and state levels. From the time Senator Anyim Pius Anyim was Senate President, the NLC had asked for, and was promised an office space in the National Assembly for our Parliamentary Liaison Office to operate from. Regrettably till this moment, the various leadership of the National Assembly since then failed to fulfill this request, which we gathered was granted. Despite new structures been added to the National Assembly complex, we have been unlucky, so to say, because we are aware that a number of such requests, including of businesses, have been given, sometimes express approval over the years.

“Your Excellency, we wish to re-present this request once again. We want to emphasise that having a liaison office within the National Assembly will give us enhanced accessibility to do proper legislative advocacy. You may recall that your predecessor in office, Senator David Mark, sometimes ago complained that the State Houses of Assembly were glorified rubber stamps to state governors. Our plan is to use our National Assembly Liaison Office to train liaison officers for the state level legislature to also provide for a robust engagement with the lawmaking process at that level,” Ayuba stated.

According to the NLC President: “Our aim in having the Parliamentary Liaison Office, which has since been in place at the level of the NLC National Secretariat, is to partner with the National Assembly and to have enough staff employed to enable us engage the legislative processes meaningfully and to add value to it. This has been a productive practice in South Africa where our counterpart, COSATU, has a parliamentary office in Pretoria, in Ghana where the Ghana-TUC has parliamentary officers and in the USA where the AFL-CO has a team of parliamentary officers working with Congress.”

On fight against corruption, the NLC stated that corruption cases being handled by the anti-corruption agencies are taking too long  with some having gone on for as long as seven to nine years, some are often thrown out not for lack of merit or points of law but on mere technicalities. “For Nigerians to regain confidence in our anti-corruption agencies and the judicial process, high profile corruption cases need to be more diligently and competently handled and dispensed with more quickly and timely at the level of the courts,” the labour body noted.

Ayuba stressed that the NLC believed that the National Assembly has a key role to play in ensuring that justice is not only done but truly seen to be done, adding that one of the most credible ways of doing this is by strengthening the existing anti-corruption laws so that people who steal our collective wealth can be brought to justice far much quicker than we presently have.

“Corruption will reduce once people know that there is no hiding place for those who perpetuate it, and that corrupt enrichment will not necessarily be able to buy them freedom from the long arm of the law. Conviction of perpetrators of corrupt practices is how corruption is being tackled in other climes, where they have fought it, and brought it to a standstill,” stated NLC.

Commenting on the high cost of governance, NLC noted that: “another area in our democratic practice that we have serious cause to worry about is the high cost of governance across board from local, state and federal levels. Some fifteen years or so ago when the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), fixed salaries of councilors at N150,000 per month, then more than the salary of a university professor, many well-meaning Nigerians kicked against the unreasonableness of such a remuneration package.”