By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-Long standing working class intellectual, Professor Omotoye Olorode has demanded that all of Nigeria’s public assets that were looted through privatisation, concession, Public Private Partnership and other means, must be taken back from the looters.
This is as he declared that since no political party told Nigerians that public properties and assets would be sold or auctioned, all public officers and political office holders who do not accept a people-oriented organisation of the Nigerian economy must resign immediately!
Making this demand on Wednesday at the final day of the NLC at 40 event in Abuja, Professor, Omotoye Olorode who was the guest lecturer, while speaking on the topic, “Nigeria Labour Congress Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: National Unity and Social Justice”, stated that Nigeria’s working people must take their country back by declaring that the masses, not a few rich and their foreign masters, own Nigeria.
Olorode remarked that for Nigerian working class to attain true independence, national unity, economic restructuring and social Justice, the labour movement must insist that Nigeria’s economy needs planning and with market mechanisms controlled by the interests of the masses of Nigeria’s working people.
According to him, We insist that corruption is the product of the ideology of capitalist accumulation of private-sector-led economies. We see Chief Executives in handcuffs in USA and other capitalist countries almost every day; that has not reduced corruption there. Corruption will not disappear because a few scape-goats are disgraced or imprisoned! Capitalism produces and reproduces corruption because the rich also fund the ruling-class political parties! There are always members of the ruling circles that cannot be punished.
“We insist that to enable planning, maximise use of our human and material resources and stop wastes, public ownership and control of the commanding heights of the economy in production, distribution and exchange had become necessary; education, health, water supply, housing and environmental protection must also be principally in the public sector” he added.
Speaking on NLC at 40 and the way forward for the union, he noted that the Labour union must reinstate working-class ideology through practical struggle to defend working-class interests.
“We must back many of the organizational and material advantages which the working class have lost in the last thirty years. We must renew our commitments to working class ideology of socialism i.e. state-led, nationalist and self-reliant planned economic development” Olorode remarked.
On his part, a discussant, Comrade Sylvester Ejiofoh noted that Nigeria is now an under-developing nation due to corruption and called on the NLC to move from being mere trade unions to Labour movement.
Another Discussant, Prof. Membe Genye tasked the NLC to leave it’s comfort zone and go to the grassroots, mobilize everyone to accomplish the task in the present Nigeria.
She also noted that there is a need to be united, focused and to fight to keep the vision and mission of the founding fathers of the movement alive.
Prof. Genye also called on the NLC to keep pushing for a better living wage for the Nigerian workers.
The NLC @ 40 commemoration has had many unionists demanding for better living conditions and upward review of the minimum wage to better the lives of the Nigerian workers.