Leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress, during the celebration of the Workers Day, declared that the country’s labor force is losing faith in the supposed change the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration promised Nigerians.
The general consensus of the labour leaders as they delivered speeches at the May Day rallies, was that even after one year of being in power, the government is yet to initiate or bring forth the change it promised Nigerians during the campaign for the last election which they won.
Joe Ajaero, a factional leader of the NLC while addressing workers, lambasted the government over the incessant fuel scarcity, inflation and other economic hardships that has plagued the country.
“It is a shame that we have continued to import petroleum products. It is also a shame that we have also privatised it so that the products have become inaccessible to majority of the citizens, causing serious distortions to our economic processes.”
“Fuel scarcity has persisted far longer than ever, foisting on our people the most horrendous of sufferings ever meted out to them by any ruling elite in our nation’s history.”
“This has driven the prices of staples far above the reach of the ordinary people. Bread has gone up by 25%; Garri from N300 per paint bucket to N500; rice from N8,000 to N15,000; Milk and Chocolate beverages by about 50% while toiletries and other home products have all skyrocketed beyond the reach of workers and the masses.”
“As a nation, we cannot be seriously thinking of economic development, when we allow our domestic manufacturing capacity to continue to decline. We cannot move forward as a nation, when instead of producing more products internally, we allow the existing ones to fold up.”
“We cannot make progress when our tastes are heavily foreign. We cannot be talking of economic development when we continue to import petroleum products, allowing our local refineries to lie comatose. Has anybody imagined what would happen to the foreign exchange market and the pressure on the Naira if we stop this national insanity of importing petroleum products and refine our products locally?”
In the same vein, Ayuba Wabba who spoke at a rally in Abuja shared the same views as Ajaero.
Wabba berated the government for dabbling into programs and policies that only favour the elites in the society and not the general public.
He further stressed the need for the government to come up with people-based policies that would work as well economic strategies that would tell Nigerians where exactly the government is heading to.
“At the beginning of the year, we had cause to assert that on the security front, our armed forces within the year, redeemed their reputation as a resilient fighting force and fought the Boko Haram insurgents, inflicting heavy defeats on them in the North Eastern part of the country.”
“We said that our conviction was that though the war was still on-going, Nigerians now believed that it was only a matter of time before these evil forces are defeated.”
“As workers, who have been direct victims of the violence in the North East, we want to use this May Day to restate our call for Mr. President to combine the military success with a marshal plan for the reconstruction of the devastated infrastructure of the geo-political zone.”
“The ruling APC government in its manifesto, promised to create three million jobs annually. We have waited one year for the government to bring out its blueprints on how it intends to go about achieving this. Congress will seek audience with Mr. President to get more information on this important matter.”