By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-In the spirit of the 57th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, Organised Labour movements have called on Nigerians to build bridges of peace and unity instead of indulging in hatred and constant promotion of separatist agitation.
Speaking on Monday at a National Symposium in Abuja, the National President, Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) Comrade Ayuba Wabba said that for Nigeria to truly develop and industrialize, all Nigeria patriots must join the Congress in the struggle to bring back the Nigerian state to being an arrow head and engine of development.
While speaking on the theme, “Making Nigeria Work For People”, he further said that Nigeria must invest massively in education, health care and other social services as well as invest in upgrading our infrastructure in such critical areas as energy and others.
He said, “We should not dismiss ourselves as a failed nation, As Nigerians, we must continue to have confidence in ourselves as citizens, build bridges of peace and unity instead of indulging in hatred and constant promotion of separatist agitation.
“We must believe in our ability to overcome our national challenges and turn our diversity into an advantage to promote the wellbeing and welfare of all the people that populate this huge country.
On the issue of restructuring, he noted that restructuring cannot be a substitute for good governance and respect for the rule of law, adding that the discourse makes little meaning to their members when they are owed salaries and pensions running into several months as workers and pensioners.
on the subject of poverty, inequality and economic imbalances between the super-rich tiny minority and the rest of the population, he stressed that Government must refocus its development programmes and planning to address the pressing needs of the vast majority of Nigerians that are excluded and to address the critical area of full, productive and decent employment.
He further urged the federal government to reconstitute the national minimum wage negotiating council to enable for urgent negotiations of a new minimum wage, adding that inflationary rate, cost of living index, exchange rate and high costs of goods and services have shown that the current minimum wage of N18,000 is obsolete.
Also, Prof. Ogoh Alubo from the University of Jos, stressed that Nigeria is not working at all if some people are being marginalised either because of ethnicity, religion, region, gender or class, adding that “We cannot say Nigeria is working for us where there is open discrimination”.
He further pointed out that despite the exit from recession, items are still high in the market, unemployment is on the increase and the economy still unstable,noting that the economy might be doing well but the people are not doing well.
He called for more control by the federating unit as well as better sense of the government in imparting in the lives of the citizens, emphasizing that making Nigeria work for all must be a vision which must remain ever on the agenda.