‘Count Us Out Of Labour’s Protests’ — TUC Says, Makes Fresh Demands From FG

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Festus Osifo

The Trade Union Congress (TUC), on Monday, disclosed it is not a party to the planned nationwide protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

To this end, the Union announced it would not participate in the process.

Recall that the NLC had scheduled a peaceful rally for Tuesday and Wednesday, 27 and 28 February, respectively, against the economic state of the nation.

Speaking on the situation, while addressing journalists in Abuja, TUC’s President, Festus Osifo, told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to, as a matter of urgency, order the importation of food items within two weeks from any part of the world to cushion the effect of hardship in the country.

The Union also accused the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank of being behind the high cost of living in the country through their advice for the removal of subsidy on petroleum products and electricity tariffs.

told the government to stop following the dictates of the two world bodies.

Asked whether it would participate in the protest, categorically, Osifo said, “So, it is when you jointly agree, right? That you want to do something. When you agree jointly that is the way to go and along the line you now decided that you are not doing again.

“Comrades, can any of you show us where there is any agreement for us coming together? Whenever we are doing things together you always see us together addressing you. On that particular day, did you see any member of TUC there?”

TUC further explained that NLC’s protest for economic hardship was not related to the initial 14-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government.

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Recall that the memorandum reached by the organised labour with the FG in October 2023 contained implementation of the agreement on wage award, salary increase, Compressed Natural Gas buses, among others.

“However, this protest that is being called by the NLC is not related to the ultimatum that we jointly gave. What we were told by NLC is that the protest is not related to the ultimatum that was given jointly.

“I know a lot of you have read the letter that was leaked. The letter was actually meant for NLC members, but it found its way to the press. And I think it was very clearly stated in the letter. I think the reasons have been clearly stated so we were not part of the process. We were not part of the agreement. Abinitio so there is no need to opt out from at all.

“Like I’ve said repeatedly, that in trade union movement, you have a tool box, that in that toolbox, you have different tools that you could use in calling government to order. First of all you engage with what you think is superior information, and that is what we have put together today. We will engage government with the solution points we listed here today. We will push government, discuss with them, have conversations with them, have meetings with them, proffer the solutions that we have put forward.”

Some of TUC’s demands from government include: “Determination of Real Value of Naira, New Minimum Wage, Custom Exchange Rate for Goods used in Manufacturing, Allegation that sub Nationals throw billions of Dollars Monthly into the Parallel Market, Dollarization of Political Party Primaries and Electioneering, Clamp down on speculative trading in the foreign exchange market, Patronizing Made in Nigeria Goods, Strengthening the Economic Management Team, Time to stop following the dictate of IMF and World Bank, Effectively supervising the activities of Banks, Curbing Crude Oil Theft and Increasing Investment in enhancing Oil and Gas Production, Curbing Insecurity for Farmers to Return to Farm, Temporary Importation of Food from Abroad, Local Refinery of Crude Oil.”