TUC Tells FG, CBN How To Solve Naira Notes Scarcity Crisis, Reiterates It’s 7days Ultimatum 


By Chisom Onuoha

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), on Thursday, demanded that the Federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should without further delay flood  banks’ ATMs across Nigeria with the lower denominations of naira notes in a bide to cushion the sufferings being meted to Nigerians by the scarcity of the new 500 and 1000 notes 

“We have 50 and 100 naira notes. If the CBN decides to flood the banks with 50 and 100 naira notes today, this problem will reduce, if not totally eradicated. So our position is, the Federal government and CBN should make those lower denominations available and let people have access  to them. If you cannot load the ATMs with 500 and 1000 naira notes, then flood the ATMs with the old 100 naira notes.  In the rural areas, the people spend more of 50 and 100 naira notes.” TUC, said.

Responding to questions from journalists, TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo, hinted that finding immediate solution to the crisis is of utmost importance. He therefore said that the earlier 7dsys ultimatum his union gave the Federal government and CBN is still in play. He added that his unions has started engagement other labour centre and stakeholders in the labour sector, seeking the best action to take immediately the time I gave government elapse without solution to the problem. 

His words; “As a labour Centre, we have a toolbox and  in our toolbox we have a lot of tools within that toolbox for us to be able to pressure government. Strike is just one of them among 12 other tools available at our disposal to pressure government to act. 

“So we are telling workers and Nigerians at large that we are here for them and that we are doing every thing possible both in public and private to get government to the right thing. Our initial ultimatum is 7 days still stand. Between now and when the time will elapse, we are going to do further engagement with our other labour centre and with all other stakeholders in order to decide the best way to take further action.”

Should government come up with a solution to cushion the suffering of Nigerians caused by new naira notes scarcity, he said; “We will come up with a unified position as to what the way forward and best action to take. But be rest assured that in doing this, one interest will be paramount in our thinking. The interest of Nigerian workers, the interests of the masses of Nigerians and not the interests of politicians will be paramount in our decision. Because we’re only here to defend the interests of Nigeria masses, as well as the interest of Nigeria workers. 

On the Supreme Court judgement on continue usage of the old notes of the scarce naira denominations, he said; “For us, we are labour centres that respect the rule of law. No matter how bitter a judgment could be, no matter how nice a judgment could be, no matter how you feel, that Oh, no, this judgment could have gone the other way. So irrespective of what your opinion is, the Supreme Court of Nigeria remains the Supreme Court of Nigeria and their decision is final. 

“So what that means clearly is that after a Supreme Ccourt you go to God. So for us, any decision reached by the Supreme Court or any pronouncement reached by the Supreme Court  just be respected.”

Furthermore, TUC made known its expectations from the Friday slated Council of State meeting, saying: “All we are asking is that these people are elected to act for the good of Nigerians? Council of States led by the Vice President, and you have the 36 State Governors, they are voted in to act in good faith for the betterment of the the wellbeing of Nigerians. They are not voted to power to subject Nigeria masses to suffer. No. So they must act along that line. So our expectation is that it was put on their thinking cap to get this problem solved. That is our expectation.”

He added; “We are not setting agenda for them per se, but the only thing we are asking them to do is to resolve this problem. Because we believe that truly they can, if they are serious to get the problem resolved. So when they sit down tomorrow, their most proffer solution to get these things done or to get them resolved because that is what they are elected to do. 

“So when they come out from the meeting, they must have a far reaching decisions to get this problem resolved. If the printing and minting have more money that CBI has been keeping, the money should be released to banks. You shouldn’t because of one or two reasons making Nigerians to suffer. If you don’t have the 500 and 1000 naira notes, bring our the lower denominations. For us, that we alleviate the sufferings of the Nigerian masses, and that is our position on that.”

Comrade Osifo went on to speak on the rumours  of a hiding plans by some persons to postponed the forthcoming elections. He said that TUC don’t want the election to be postponed because the more you do that. “The more you are hitting up the polity. We have seen a number of press conferences calling for and against the postponement of the elections. We know the political class. They they come out; sponsor some people to take sides with Mr A or Mr A. And they are hitting up the polity. So elections should hold as planned in order to depressurize the system.”

Next articleNew Naira Notes Scarcity: SSASCGOC Directs Members To Mobilise For aindustrial Action


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