Nigerian Labour Congress: A Solution To Fuel Subsidy Removal

By Usman Mohammed

It is high time for Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to engage, indulge and cultivate the act of providing a lasting solutions to Nigerian public servants and masses instead of sabotaging federal government efforts by going for industrial strike. Labour is spoiling for a fight over fuel price increase.

Meanwhile what the Government said was "any entity can now import fuel subject to product quality and standard regulations". Instead of their usual irrational resort to industrial strike, I think Organised Labour should take advantage of this window of opportunity by putting together it's resources to join the line of fuel importers, so that it can sell it's products at 86 Naira.

The advantage is that Labour petroleum products will attract more patronage and force other marketers to do likewise. This is not an alien proposal, there are precedents. When the government stopped buying cars for workers Labour took up the challenge by organizing co-operative societies that made cars available to workers who are members.

When the government stopped building houses for workers, Labour took up the challenge and started buying acres and hectares of land which they shared to workers through cooperative societies. They even have building materials available to workers through the cooperative society. I think it's time Labour unions, societies, associations, churches and communities take up roles in the global free market for the benefit of it's members.

There is a paradigm shift in ideologies, principles and how they should be employed in our modern world. The growth of population, innovation in technology and expanding economic space has made it unprofitable to apply the model and formula of the 20th century successfully in this 21st century.

The need for this inclusive participation in economic activities by Labour is underscored by the prediction that a time will come when most tools of labour for both government and non governmental entities will be machines and not man, by then Organised Labour whose only goal is industrial agitation for better wage and living conditions of workers will become irrelevant and otiose.

Take note that the military is about to key into this new trend of active participation in the free market economy. In Egypt the army is involved in commercial construction of roads, bridges and building. It owns the company called "Arab Contractors".

The Nigerian Army will soon commence the commercial sale and transportation of petroleum products in its newly constructed mega filling stations in parts of the country. Other than industrial actions and personal welfare, What does the other bodies and Labour Union have to bring to the table of free market economy?

I therefore, urge the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) should do the needful things now and not sooner or later. Usman Mohammed. Department of Mass Communication, IBB University, Lapai-Niger State. 07060815443

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