The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has condemned the Federal Government over the use of consultants collect the accruing monies into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The Congress in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos recently commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision on the TSA policy but advocated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should take over the process of TSA management.
The NEC-in-Session also condemned government’s frequent policy somersaults, which it said is responsible for the country’s under-development.
A case in point is the planned re-institution of toll gates according to the Council is presumably to help raise funds for government. “It is still recallable that toll gates were in existence up to Obasanjo’s regime when the infamous decision to abolish them was taken. It is even more worrisome to note that the cost of demolition of the toll gates was more than the cost of building them in the first place”, the NEC added.
State of the Nation
On the war against corruption, the NEC-in-Session appealed to President Buhari to track all the looters of the country’s commonwealth, “including various sums of money involved in the latest arms scam. All the culprits must be duly prosecuted and looted funds recovered to the treasury.”
Fuel Scarcity and Subsidy
The NEC-in-Session wonders why fuel scarcity which appeared to have gone with history at the advent of Buhari’s administration suddenly resurfaced with greater intensity. The NEC-in-Session however commends the stance of the Federal Government not to remove fuel subsidy, in consideration for the common man. However, the NEC-in-Session enjoins the Federal Government to find a permanent solution to fuel crisis, especially through revamping the existing oil refineries, building new ones, and stepping up the fight against crude oil theft, oil pipeline vandalism and corruption in the oil and gas sector. We believe that with all these effectively done, the dependence on importation of refined oil products will drastically reduce, which in turn will naturally fizzle out the need to pay any form of subsidy for them. It will also automatically boost employment in line with the government’s drive to create more jobs.
Foreign Exchange Policy
The Federal Government should take a second look at the list of 42 prohibited items in its foreign exchange policy. It should make the policy flexible so that genuine manufacturers can access needed raw materials.
- i) The NEC-in-Session calls on the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to address all pending issues that were products of collective bargaining agreement.
- ii) Privatisation of Federal Teaching Hospitals
We reject in totality the proposal by the Federal Government of Nigeria to privatise or commercialise the services of the tertiary health institutions across the country. The introduction of such a policy will undoubtedly remove healthcare services from the reach of the common man in Nigeria. We however call on the Federal Government to urgently address the issue of improving the standard of Healthcare.
The NEC-in-Session acknowledges the efforts of government in developing the power sector. However we note that a lot still need to be done to improve the power situation in order to protect and stimulate industrial growth and development.
The NEC-in-Session further notes the attempted liquidation of PHCN without settlement of all labour liabilities as contained in the agreement between representatives of Federal Government, the 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 the one part and trade unions in the power sector. We strongly advise against that attempt, in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.