TUC Warns FG Against Liquidating PHCN, Privatizing Teaching Hospitals

TUC1The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged the federal government to settle all outstanding liabilities owed workers as contained in the agreement between workers and the government.

The TUC was reacting to plans by the federal to liquidate the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

It also warned against current moves to privatize or commercialize the services of tertiary health institutions across the country, saying the introduction of such policy would remove healthcare services from the reach of the common man.

The TUC, which rose from a meeting of its National Executive Council (NEC) yesterday, blamed government’s frequent policy somersaults for the nation’s under-development, stressing that despite the position of governors on the national minimum wage, organised labour would go ahead to table its fresh demand for a review of a new national minimum wage.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and signed by its President, Boboi Kaigama and General Secretary, Musa Lawal respectively, the congress acknowledged government efforts in developing the power sector, but that a lot still needed to be done to improve the situation in order to protect and stimulate industrial growth and development.

The communiqué warned that liquidating the PHCN without paying the labour liability as contained in the agreement between representatives of federal government, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Ministry of Power, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation on one part and trade unions in the power sector on the other hand, would have adverse effect on industrial peace and harmony in the sector.

It also called on the government to immediately address all outstanding issues that were products of collective bargaining agreements in the health sector rather than considering handing over Federal Teaching hospitals to private investors.

The congress said: “We reject in totality the proposal by the Federal Government to privatise or commercialize the services of the tertiary health institutions across the country. The introduction of such a policy would, undoubtedly, remove healthcare services from the reach of the common man in Nigeria”.

While lamenting the vexed issue of illegal recruitment in the public service, the TUC urged the federal government to henceforth ensure that all appointments are strictly according to public service rules, scheme of service, establishment circulars, and federal Civil Service Commission’s guidelines on appointment, promotion and discipline in the public service.

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