SURE-P: Palliatives Are Meant For Refugees, We Are Citizens – NLC Vice-President

Comrade Issa Aremu is The general secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) as well as a Nigeria Labour Congress chieftain. In an exclusive interview he granted Vanguard newspapers published today, the NLC vice-president spoke on the controversy stirred by Prof. Chinua Achebe’s book, ‘There Was A Country’, a title he says is ‘mischievous’ and also urged the world renowned literary giant ‘to organize his thought for reconstruction and rebuilding of Nigeria.’

Comrade Issa Aremu

Comrade Aremu who said the raging controversy between the FG and National Assembly over the benchmark for crude oil in the 2013 budget is ‘diversionary’, lampooned the finance minister for ‘comparing’ Nigeria to other OPEC countries.

According to him: “I said the need for benchmark is divisionary because the position of the Federal Government, as articulated by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has not been  driven by  development agenda. She is rather comparing, talking about  other OPEC countries, namely, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iran who benchmarked their  oil money because they ran for other things. But those countries are not facing the same challenges facing Nigeria. As  I am talking to you, Saudi doesn’t have uninterrupted power supply, it has no problem of drainages, the roads are clear.”

Comrade Aremu who commended President Jonathan for early submission of the 2013 budget to the National Assembly, however decried the level of propaganda carried out by the FG occassioned by what he called ‘mis-governance.’ According to him, “what people see is different from what we have been shown on television, we don’t need those dramas because when we see, Nigerians will know.”

Earlier, Aremu had said concerning the SURE-P Programme, “…I think the SURE-P programme is ill-managed; the intervention fund is not well managed. The vehicles that the Federal Government gave to National Union of Road Transport Workers have all broken down. I think what we need is holistic transport policy, it cannot just be called palliatives; palliatives are meant for refugees, we are citizens, and citizens need corporate multi-modal mix up agenda.”

-Culled From Vanguard Newspapers

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