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NLC reviews 2021, sets goals for govt in 2022

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FG to redress increase in fuel products, insecurity for better economy

The Nigerian Labour Congress, on Thursday, charged the Federal Government to redress the various challenges bedeviling the country as a new Year beckons.

This was contained in a statement reviewing the year 2021, issued by the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba who praised the resilience of Nigerian workers amidst the hardship wrought by different policies.

“Nigerian workers and people were forced to endure a year inundated with socio-economic downturns especially as marked by hyper-inflation, widespread hardship, governance reversals, insecurity and persisting prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly with the advent and high infection of the Omicron variant.

“We commend Nigerian workers and the masses of our people for keeping hope alive and for relentlessly making the required sacrifices for national productivity, growth and development. We can assure you that your hard work, dedication, and commitment will never be in vain,” the statement reads.

Wabba further detailed how Nigerians, in 2021, “were confronted with both speculation and the reality of increases in the prices of essential and basic utilities, commodities and services including staple food items, cooking gas, cement and other building materials.

READ ALSO: NLC calls for reversal of power sector privatisation

“While we commend government for ensuring stable supply of petrol and a few other refined petroleum products, we are concerned that the proposed petrol price increase does not resonate with the spirit of Christmas.

“Just as government was able to fix the perennial scarcity of refined petroleum products especially petrol during festive seasons such as Christmas, we are also hopeful that Nigeria’s political leadership would be able to find a lasting panacea to the cycle of increases in the prices of refined petroleum products. With a stable price of refined petroleum products, the prices of other commodities will be stable.

Insecurity was also one major headache for Nigerians in 2021. The spate of unrests, banditry, terrorism and kidnap-for-ransom across the length and breadth of Nigeria is a source of sleepless nights for many Nigerians.

“Nigerians everywhere want to sleep with both eyes closed. We implore government at all levels to take seriously the provisions of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution which mandates that the security of lives and property must be the primary duty of government.

“Our expectation as a national labour center is that by next Christmas, the hopes for affordable and quality education, healthcare and welfare to the poorest of the poor in our midst, would no longer reside in the domain of hope but would be the existential reality of our people.

“This is the thrust of the Charter of demands developed by Nigerian working people and our allies as the tool for political engagement as we approach the 2023 election cycle.

“While we plan to change the political narrative by fully committing the political class to a defined and commonly shared national development agenda, we are concerned that the electoral field to cultivate our hopes for a transformed society is still cluttered with weeds and debris from the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment. The ball is back to the National Assembly. We urge the National Assembly to take the gauntlet and do the needful.”

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