WORKFORCE by Bimbo Oyesola
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has charged the Federal Government to show more seriousness in addressing the various cases of insecurity in the country with the current upsurge in the attacks on the innocent citizens.
The TUC President General, Comrade Peter Esele, who addressed the press after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos expressed that the workers now hoped that the government would pay more attention to the growing rate of kidnapping, bombings and robbery attacks on banks, general workers and other citizens of the country.
Condemning the bizarre kidnap of mother of the Finance Minister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the TUC boss said it was now apparent that the kidnappers had no respect for the law of the land or individuals, hence the need for the government to intensify its effort in arresting the menace. “There is no other way to describe the spate of kidnapping in the country, with the boldness of these criminals, kidnapping the mother of our honourable minister.
We only hope that with this kind of high rate of kidnap cases, the government would now find solution to this scourge,” he said. In the same vein, the labour leader also warned religious leaders in the country to desist from politiciing the recent bomb attack on the military formation in Jaji.
He added: “The NEC-in-Session also condemns the religious coloration being introduced by some religious bodies in the investigation being carried out by the military in the bombing of the military barracks in Jaji by suspected fundamentalists. The military should be allowed to carry out both its internal and external statutory investigations so that the issues can be properly addressed in the collective interest of Nigerians.”
Comrade Esele, who lamented on the continued deterioration of infrastructure, mostly roads, despite the huge funds being expended, called on government to expedite action on the improvements as the advancement of the economy is dependent on good infrastructure. The TUC’s NEC however commended the Federal Government on the recently concluded negotiation with the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and implored the government to implement fully the terms of the agreement and deliver to the citizenry the promise of 24 hours uninterrupted electricity power supply to the nation.
The TUC President also said that the NEC endorsed fully the current industrial action in Plateau State in the struggle for workers emancipation due to non compliance with minimum wage act. He stated further on the NEC’s deliberations,”The NEC-in-Session frowns at the current version of the National Health Bill which does not accommodate the interest of many Nigerians. We therefore demand an invitation to a Public Hearing for our input in making the Bill a better gift to Nigerians.”
Meanwhile the Labour Centre at the meeting also announced the retirement of its Secretary General, Comrade John Kolawole, who has since been replaced in the acting capacity by Comrade Musa Lawal, the former Deputy Secretary General. According to Comrade Esele, Comrade Kolawole, aged 61 was retired in line with the condition of service of the TUC, which puts retirement of its personnel at 60 years.