21 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Non-Academic Staff Union Of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has threatened to paralyze the economy if the Federal Government goes ahead to increase the electricity bill.
The union claimed in a statement made available to our correspondent, at the end of the it’s National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, that if there is an increment in the tariff it will lead to the closure of many factories as well as unequaled unemployment.
National President of NASU, Comrade Chris Ani, who signed the statement, warned against the proposed increment of electricity tariff, adding that “increase in electricity tariff has contributed significantly to unemployment.”
He noted that, “Many of the people seeking jobs today are casualties of companies that have either relocated out of Nigeria or outrightly closed shops as a result of higher electricity tariff or its twin brother, epileptic power supply.”
NASU also issued December 2017 deadline to Federal Government to conclude the negotiation on the new national minimum wage.
The Union vowed that the Union will resist any policy initiated at both federal and state levels to disengage any NASU members, just as he decried the spate of unemployment in the country.
Comrade Ani called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to mobilize all its affiliates across the country in the bid to press home the demand for improved welfare for Nigerian workers.
According to him, “Federal Government has up to this moment refused to show good faith in its dealings with workers on the issue of Minimum Wage.
“Workers are under the burden of a slave wage, which cannot meet their daily needs. They cannot nourish their children and cannot educate them because the ruling class is bent on the commercialization of education.
“NASU, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to give a mandate to the Tripartite Committee on Minimum Wage so that they can start work immediately and finish before the end of the year failing which NASU calls on the NLC to mobilize workers to demand the Minimum Wage,” he urged.
On the alleged diversion of Paris Club fund given to all the State Governments to offset backlog of workers’ salaries and allowances, the Union called on President Muhammadu Buhari and anti-graft agencies to probe the call d diversion of the multi-billion naira allocated to them over the past two years.
He said, “It is most disheartening to note that despite all the support extended to State Governments by the Federal Government in the form of: bailout fund; the first tranche of Paris Club refund and second tranche of Paris Club refund, many of the State Governments are still owing salaries as well as gratuities and pensions.
“There was a time that President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed shock that about 27 State Governments were unable to fulfill their statutory obligation to the workers. In fact, a few days ago, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed disappointment with the way State Governments misapplied the refunds of the Paris Club made to them.
“We have also read of how some State Governments were said to be under investigation by the EFCC for the way the Paris Club refund was misapplied.”