TUC Commends FG Over Ogoniland Clean-Up, NNPC Restructuring | Independent Newspapers Limited
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TUC Commends FG Over Ogoniland Clean-Up, NNPC Restructuring

Posted: Aug 7, 2015 at 12:13 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• Backs Fight Against Corruption

Stories by Sylvester Enoghase  –  Lagos


The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Thursday commended the Federal Government over its planned clean-up of oil-polluted Ogoniland, resuscitation of the national carrier and the appointment of new Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The Congress views these moves as steps in the right direction if the change mantra espoused and canvassed by the ruling party is to yield positive results.

TUC in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and Secretary General, Comrade Musa Lawal, advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to expedite action on the mentioned areas and other items on its developmental agenda, because time is not on the government’s side.

According to the statement, successive government’s insensitivity to the plight of the people has been the major cause of most unrests and insurgencies in the land.

The labour chiefs noted that the initiative to clean up Ogoniland will help give a sense of belonging to the Niger Delta people.

Part of the statement read: “Our country, being one with a mono-economy, cannot afford to neglect the goose that lays the golden egg. The present administration should go ahead and also diversify the economy, revive other sectors as it has planned to do in the aviation industry through the reintroduction of the national carrier, and fight corruption to a stand-still.

“The Niger Delta agitation, for instance, started as a result of failure to address the grievances of the people, which include the destruction of their farmlands by oil spillage, gas flaring.”

On the NNPC, the statement added: “The war against corruption should be comprehensive, lest it be viewed as mere witch-hunting. While we applaud the sanitisation that has commenced at the NNPC, we also insist that it be extended to the ministries and other agencies of government. There is no patriotic Nigerian who is not bothered by the administrative and financial anomalies we have encouraged and accommodated as a nation.”

The labour Center also noted that the move to revive the national carrier is a welcome development, adding that it is a shame for Nigeria, a nation with a population of over 170 million people, not to have a national carrier at a time when smaller nations like Ethiopia operate airlines that are major sources of prestige and foreign exchange to them.

The statement further said that British Airways and other foreign airlines earn substantial revenue from flying Nigeria’s airspace, taking advantage of the large vacuum created by the ineptitude of our leaders over the years.

“Apart from the thousands of Nigerians who go on medical tourism to Britain and other foreign nations, good percentage of the millions of Nigerians who live in those nations come home at least twice yearly aboard their airlines. Just imagine how much we would earn if they flew our own national carrier instead? A lot of foreign exchange is involved here! Suffice to say that all those countries are having a field day making aviation money that we should be the one making. And this is aside the massive employment potentials that we have denied ourselves,” lamented the TUC.

The Labour Center urged President Buhari to remain focused on revamping the nation’s economy, and cautioned that organised labour is poised to contend with any person or group that tries to hinder any positive initiative of the government.