Nigeria, Sep 30, 2016 – The Trade Union Congress (TUC) today lamented the state of Nigeria’s economy as the nation marks its 56th anniversary.
In his remarks on the anniversary, President of TUC, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama said that at 56, the fact remains that all sectors of the economy has collapsed, with the Naira bowing every hour to foreign currencies.
“As at yesterday the Naira exchanged for between N480 and N492 per US dollar. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appears hopeless, not knowing what to do.
“Many companies have close shops while others are fleeing the country, a situation that has lead to millions of job losses. Our economy has been hijacked by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a few wealthy Nigerians and the society is the worse for it”, he said, adding that the challenge before the country is the few greedy Nigerians who see the country as their personal property.
“They use our commonwealth to buy our viable national assets only to turn them to warehouses. They are paid upfront to fix the refineries that never worked; they increase the price of fuel to N145 per litre; canvass for the sale of LNLG, Airports, Sea Ports, etc. They have a common goal, which is to loot”, he said.
The TUC boss alluded to report from Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its Second Quarter released at the beginning of September 2016, which stated in clear terms that the fortune of the economy has dwindled by 2.06 per cent which has never happened in the last three decades.
“We have been assured that the recession will soon be over; we agree but it is important government look beyond the ruling party to source for capable hands that can help save our economy.
“All hands must be on deck to ensure that we become economically free by exporting more than we import and by patronising made in Nigeria goods”, he said.
He called on government to demilitarize the Niger Delta and bring about peace.
“We call on government to commence the process of making the sector more viable. It should also encourage local refining processes. The Congress is convinced that the oil and gas workers can successively manage the sector if government stops unnecessary interference. They are capable of making it vibrant enough to fund a large percentage of the national budget.
“We also call for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). The bill would address the insurgency situation in the Niger Delta as their demands are duly taken care of in the bill”, he said.
He called on Nigeria to take a lesson from Saudi Arabia, whose economic measures for difficult times include cutting down on the cost of governance by reducing remuneration of government appointees.
“The cost of servicing our presidential system of government is too grave to bear. It is an institutional problem. Politics is big business in Nigeria and we urge the executive, legislature and judiciary to lead by example by slashing their salaries and allowances just like the Saudi Arabia government has done. This is one way to tell Nigerians that they truly feel our pain as they profess”, he said.