Nations Laughing At Nigeria – Tuc Charges Buhari On Fuel Scarcity, Economic Crisis
BEVERLY HILLS, April 07, (THEWILL) – The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to restore the nation's economy.
This is contained in a statement signed by the TUC President, Mr Bobboi Kaigama in Abuja.
The congress decried the “unpleasant situation'' in the country which it said had “obviously stifled the economy and claimed thousands of jobs due to closure of companies”.
“Aside fuel scarcity , the dearth of US dollars has made it impossible for firms to repay foreign loans and import needed materials for production of which the consequences is mass sack of workers.”
“Our role as a labour centre is multifaceted. We are saddled with the responsibility of functioning as change agents and watchdogs of both government and private businesses, with the issue of workers welfare as priority.”
“But, of late our desk has been inundated with industrial issues, ranging from redundancy complaints to anti-labour practices, casualisation of workers to outright termination of employment,” it said.
It stated that all the issues were caused by the unfriendly business environment, adding that the food and beverage sector alone had in the last few months, lost over 500 employees.
It also said that the Naira currently exchanged for N197 to a dollar at the official window and N320 at the parallel market.
It said that firms that borrowed dollar-denominated loans were facing the risk of foreclosure on assets.
The union also demanded that the power distribution companies should stop sending “estimated” bills to Nigerians.
“They are defrauding consumers while the government consistently looks the other way; how else do we explain the fact that Nigerians are paying for services not rendered?”
“We recall that the Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, prior to the 2015 elections said any government that cannot fix power in six months is irresponsible.”
It also said that it was worrisome to labour that the lingering fuel scarcity appeared to defy all solutions in a country that was the sixth largest oil producer in the world.
It said that Nigeria had become a laughing stock amongst the comity of nations, adding that man-hours lost in traffic jams due to long fuel queues had become unimaginable.
“As it stands now virtually all sectors of the economy are groaning in serious and unbearable pain.”
“We are adverse to people blaming any particular political party for the ordeals of the country.
“The people voted for the present federal administration because they desire change. We need to see that change now,” it insisted.
The statement called on the government to speedily put an end to the fuel crisis “even if it means stepping on sacred toes”.