NLC, TUC Call For All Inclusive Development of Economy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Business, Labour & Employment

NLC, TUC Call For All Inclusive Development of Economy

Posted: Sep 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Sylvester Enoghase.

LAGOS – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), who are worried not only over the high level of frustration of workers, but also their anxieties and fears of the future, have called for an economic ‘Blueprint’ that would ensure inclusive growth and decent work for all

NLC’s President, Ayuba Wabba, in an exclusive interview with Independent, noted that the imperative of Federal Government’s blueprint would set the interconnected national economy on a faster and more inclusive development trajectory to avoid the dangerous consequences of failure.

He advised President Muhammadu Buhari to rework his administration’s economic policies, arguing that rather than addressing the challenges in the economy, the policies were hurting the citizens.

Wabba, who argued that the current policies have only served to make life more difficult for the average worker, said: “The challenge before all of us is an economy that is technically in recession and our government didn’t seem to get their acts right because if you look at the (policy) responses, it is geared towards taking away the gains that we have been able to make over the years.”

He stated that policies such as naira devaluation, petrol pump price hike and increased taxes had not been helpful to the economy as they have worsened the situation for the average Nigerian.

He decried the delayed action of the committee set up by the Federal Government to review the minimum wage to N56,000, stating that the NLC would begin agitation at a national level and action in states owing more than three months’ pay.

NLC President added: “The first thing was for the Federal Government to meet with the stakeholders in the economy at meeting that the problems of the country could be identified and solutions worked out.

“It is from such meeting that we can be allowed to say our own view. It happened during the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) by former military President, Gen Ibrahim Babangida (rtd),” he stressed.

Also, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, in his chat with Independent, noted that Nigeria needed an economic blueprint that would embrace innovation and expansion of trade to jump-start the nation’s economic activities

Kaigama said: “So when policy-makers consider fiscal and monetary options, the nature and intent of structural reform, the embracing of innovation and the expansion of trade, it needs to be with deliberate consideration of equity and inclusion in mind.

“All the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are important, and we know they are interconnected. But strikingly, and surely not fortuitously one of the SDGs is referenced in the G20 Action Plan more than any of the others: that is SDG 8 on inclusive growth and decent work for all.

“The 2030 Agenda itself provides good guidance on this, as does the Beijing Declaration of your Labour and Employment Ministers and what it says on entrepreneurship, employability, apprenticeships, sustainable wage policy, and equitable and sustainable social protection systems,” he added.