14 August 2013, Abuja – The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has called on the federal government to act decisively and exercise the political will to ensure transformation in the power sector and security situation in the country as a way of ensuring that Nigerians truly benefit from the dividends of democracy.
It particularly harped on the need for the government to show more determination to fight oil theft which effects might contribute immensely to the vulnerability of the economy.
The acting General Secretary of the NLC, Mr. Chris Uyot, in a telephone interview with THISDAY in Abuja on Monday disclosed that the findings of the congress had revealed that the spate of oil theft was not being caused by militants but by the activities of a cartel that has its roots among the elite and government.
Uyot said it would be hypocritical for the government to claim ignorance at the identities of those involved in the consistent oil theft which has caused the nation loss in revenue and affecting the economy.
It is not enough to cite figures to prove economic development, Uyot said, adding that a large percentage of Nigerians remain unemployed despite the figures being bandied by the government for economic development.
“These unemployed and other vulnerable groups continue to be plagued by the incessant and arbitrary increases in electricity tariff without commensurate power generation,” Uyot said, describing such development as unfair.
“Initially we were told that the problems in the power sector have to do with the labour issues which were unresolved, now government has assured Nigerians that the issues have been resolved. So we do not see why government has not gotten its act together,” he said.
Speaking on the security situation, Uyot reiterated the call by the labour movements for a need for the total overhaul of the security and intelligence agencies as they have shown that they cannot guarantee the security of lives and property.
He added that Nigerians initially believed that the declaration of the state of emergency would solve the security situation, but recent events had shown that the insurgents were becoming more courageous.
“Without adequate security, the whole idea about national development and transformation would come to nothing. Government has to demonstrate the political will to show that it is in charge of power, security and oil issues,” Uyot added.
Meanwhile the Trade Union Congress, TUC, has called on governments at all levels to take proactive measures to check flooding in the country.
The TUC in a statement issued Monday lamented that instead of paying attention to the flood predictions by NEMA especially in Cross River, Ogun, Kogi, Oyo, Imo, Plateau, Bayelsa, and Lagos States, politicians and government officials choose to engage each other in fisticuffs over the 2015 general election.
It called on the government to embark of proper and adequate sensitisation of the populace in the concerned states.
“Our leaders’ medicine-after-death approach has never and can never take the country forward. Are they waiting for the floods to occur so they can send their condolences and relief materials? Are they waiting for it to happen before action can be taken? These are pertinent question bugging the congress,” it stated.
– This Day