National President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, yesterday, said five months after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, Nigerians were yet to feel the change mantra.
Kaigama, who spoke while addressing construction workers at the 10th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA), in Abuja, said government should know that the change mantra of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was supposed to be more than just going after corrupt officials.
According to him, for the change mantra to be meaningful in the country, there should be job security in the companies and security of lives and property. He said it was only when these were done that Nigerians would know that change had started.
This came as Julius Berger Nigeria Plc announced plans to downsize its workforce due to government’s indebtedness to construction companies in the country.
Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria limited, Engr. Detlev Lubasch, noted that going by the present economic realities in the country and the huge indebtedness construction companies were facing, they have been unable to meet up with their financial obligations.
Lubasch, who was represented by a staff of the Human Resources unit, Moses Anietie, said: “Comrades, our industry is in dire straits, occasioned by non-payment for ongoing and already completed jobs.
“As you all know, the construction industry is majorly engaged by the governments: federal, state and local, with little patronage from corporate entities and private individuals. In view of this, any distortion in the income equilibrium of our major clients will definitely affect the income and cash flow of the construction companies.
“As a consequence of this, construction companies are unable to sustain the existing structures in terms of meeting its obligations to staff and subcontractors. lt, therefore, became imminent that there must be staff reduction as well as other cost saving measures,” he said.
In his welcome address, the national president of CCESSA, Comrade Augustine Etafo, who is also the Deputy President of TUC, advised President Buhari to keep to his campaign promises and guard against appointing persons of questionable characters into his government.
“Nigerians have suffered greatly for democracy to come to stay. They must reap the benefits of democracy through good governance which we are expecting from the new government led by President Muhhamadu Buhari,” he said.