TUC to Buhari: Tougher 2016 will only toughen Labour


Fraternal greetings from Trade Union Congress to all the toiling masses of Nigeria and welcome to the year 2016.
It is indeed a great pleasure to first and foremost thank Almighty God for His mercies, commend the Nigerian workers for their patience and resilience and give a thumb up to the good masses of our great country for surviving yet another albatross year; – riddled with corruption, insecurity, unemployment, election problems, a year of baton change with its associated problems, a year of insecurity in all ramifications.
Indeed it was a year that challenged all irrespective of class or creed. It was also a year the corporate entity called Nigeria experienced the greatest threat to its existence. To Almighty God, we give the glory that we still have a country called Nigeria today.
We are pained by the fact that the causes of the struggle of today were the same things the likes of late Micheal Imoudu, Wahab Goodluck, Ali Chiroma, Hassan Sumonu, M.E Kolagbodi, Chima Ubani, Olaitan Oyerinde, Bamidele Aturu, Claude Ake, Eskoor Toyo, Prof. Bade Onimode, our beloved Festus Iyayi to mention but a few staked out their lives for. Why our leaders have become numb, insensitive and obdurate is still what most Nigerians and the international community do not understand.
We have many worries and topmost among them is how to improve the quality of our democracy like we have in most civilized countries. We believe only the Workers Party can truly deliver the dividends of democracy to the masses and we are working towards it. Our vision may appear utopian but we know we shall achieve it. The move has become imperative because of the failure of successive leadership. It is now time to organize, not to agonise!
Truly the present administration had enormous good will and started on a good note. We commend the administration for the recent revelations on how our patrimony was shared by some unpatriotic Nigerians exposing our citizens to Hobbesian state of nature. It is indeed regrettable that those charged with security pushed our citizens to early deaths by their greed and avarice. Congress supports the recovery of all loots and demand a just recompense for culprits.
Minimum wage review is due this year, and every labourer shall be entitled to his wages, fair ones at that. We find it laughable that some leaders are canvassing for reduction in minimum wages. We are ready for them.
170 million people struggle for mere 4,000 Megawatts of power with incessant increases in tariff. We had thought that privatization was a solution to the challenges in the power sector . Same with our oil . It is not good news that we are the sixth oil producing country in the world yet almost on yearly basis we face serious crisis in the sector. The same old sermon. It is unfortunate! For us, we believe the problem of the sector will continue unless the existing refineries are made to work and new ones built. Government should also step up the fight against oil theft no matter the people involved.
Today the Naira is near worthless. Companies are winding up. Unemployment on the increase. We commend government effort in this area. Though we desire a peaceful industrial atmosphere in 2016 but the organized labour alone cannot work it out. Everyone has a contribution to make. Truly we envision a tougher 2016, in the area of agitations against employers who sack workers without engaging the umbrella unions to negotiate their entitlement; against employers who refuse unionization; against employers who bring in expatriate for jobs Nigerians can handle efficiently and effectively; against those who illegally recruit in the public services and all forms of nepotism, against corruption in high places etc.
Finally, we reiterate that we are most grateful to God that the lives of the common masses of the country are not in the hands of the politicians.
While we wish all Nigerians a wonderful 2016, Congress also charges them to be battle-ready against greedy, ruthless, insensitive and cruel politicians.
Happy New Year and Prosperous Near in Advance!
Be prepared for the battle ahead.

Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama
President, TUC

Comrade(Barr.)Musa Lawal
Secretary General, TUC


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