By Favour Okoh
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in a resolution reached at it National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, said it would mobilize its members and commence an indefinite industrial action and mass protests in Kaduna State, over unfair labour practices in the state.
Singed by its President; Ayuba Wabba and Ag. General Secretary, Comrade Ismail Bello, the resolution stated: on the “The Mass Sack and Casualization of Workers by the Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai. The NEC resolved to take on headlong the recent sacking and casualization of more than 48,320 workers in Kaduna State. The NEC also resolved on the following measures to protest the illegal, anti-workers and anti-people actions of the Kaduna State Governor:
“To mobilize all Nigerian workers to commence an indefinite industrial action and mass protests in Kaduna State; and to escalate the strike actions and protests in Kaduna State to a 5-days nationwide industrial action if the Kaduna State Governor refuses to reverse his attack on workers in Kaduna State.”
On other national issues, the resolution stated; “Privatization of the Power Sector: The NEC resolved to demand that government in line with the agreement signed with Organized Labour on September 28, 2020 should invoke the clause in the power sector privatization that provides for a 5-year review of the power sectorprivatization programme to reverse the power sector privatization programme and return the sold assets to the Nigerian people.
“This demand is consequent on the incontrovertible evidence that the current power sector privatization has failed to achieve any of its set objectives which includes improving the quality and quantity of electricity supply to Nigerians, shedding of power sector funding from the government and increasing revenue from power sector investment to the coffers of government.
“The NEC also called on government to be clear and straight on its engagement with Organized Labour on the management of electricity tariff. The NEC said that it would not allow government to hide under the guise of “sine die” engagement with Organized Labour to afflict Nigerians with further increases in electricity tariff.
“Furthermore, the NEC-in-Session strongly objected to the World Bank’s claim that energy tariffs are subsidized by about 70%. The NEC recalled that the privatization programme for Nigeria’s power sector was at the bidding of the World Bank and other Bretton Woods Institutions. The NEC called on the World Bank to be courageous enough to admit that its “one size fits all” prescriptions have failed again.
“The Comatose State of Nigeria’s Refineries and Efforts by Government to Revamp the Refineries: The NEC called on government, in line with the Agreement reached with Labour on September 28, 2020 to take very reasonable measures to ensure that all the four public refineries are rehabilitated and brought back fully onstream in good time.
“The NEC demands that such efforts should be on the basis of value for money since the country has already lost huge sums of money to phony contractors and their middle-persons collaborators in government who had defaulted on their commitments for effective Turn Around Maintenance of our refineries.
“The NEC called on government to be forthcoming and transparent on the implementation on the current efforts to revamp and reposition Nigeria’s refineries for optimal productivity. The NEC also reiterated its earlier calls for new refineries both regular and modular refineries.
“National Development and General Governance: The NEC demanded that all tiers of governments in Nigeria should be wary of accepting loans from Bretton Woods Institutions especially when such loans are laced with anti-people conditionalities that impose hardship and suffering on workers and the generality of the people of Nigeria.
“The NEC called on all tiers of government in Nigeria to take steps to improve on human welfare especially through adequate investment in the social sector, social protection and social services. The NEC also urged governments at all levels in Nigeria to create a balance in public expenditure between investments in physical infrastructure and improving people’s welfare.
“Instead of swallowing hook, line and sinker sinister loans from neoliberal organizations, the NEC urged the Nigerian government to accept the challenge of home-grown economic development anchored on investments in education, public health, research, public works, social welfare, and support for the real sectors of the economy including small and medium scale enterprises. The NEC particularly urged government to ensure proper synergy and coordination of research initiatives and efforts in Nigeria.
“The NEC also underscored the critical role of security and public order in national development especially with regards to attracting foreign investments. The NEC having identified security as a collective responsibility called for the removal of the veil on “security votes”. The NEC-in-Session called for the passage and implementation of security sector appropriations through the regular budgetary and legislative procedures to engender public confidence, performance and accountability by all state actors.
“On the moves to scrap the local government system, the NEC opposed any reform that seeks to scrap the local government system from the Nigerian Constitution. The NEC rather urged Nigeria’s political leaders to adopt new measures to strengthen the structures and operations of local governments in Nigeria and guarantee their full autonomy.
“Labour Party: Resolved to issue notice to all the impostors parading as Labour Party Leaders to hand over the property of the Labour Party to Organized Labour immediately. Resolved to march to the headquarters of INEC to register the displeasure of workers over the hijacking of the Labour Party.
“In the event that the criminal impostors fail to listen to the voice of reason, Organized Labour in Nigeria would be left with no option than to forcibly recover all the assets and properties of the Labour Party throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.”