May Day: Last one year torturous for Nigerian workers – NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that workers in the country had it “really bad” in the last year.

NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja said this as Nigeria joins the rest of the world in marking this year’s International Workers’ Day, commonly known as May Day.

He said that the cost of living has skyrocketed and major sectors of the Nigerian economy have taken a hit, resulting in massive job losses.

Ugboaja charged the government to address worsening poverty, insecurity, unemployment, inflation, high cost of living and frustration in the nation.

“The last one year has been torturous for Nigerians, especially workers in every sector.

‘’Tertiary education has been severely fractured, the manufacturing sector has been comatose as energy supply, layoffs and high cost of doing business have characterized the sector.

‘’There was no growth due to the inability of operators to access foreign exchange to buy raw materials, spare parts and other necessities. This impacted negatively on the workers, stagnated wages and worsened unemployment and poverty in all sectors.

“Road transportation was among the worst hit because the supply of petroleum products was disrupted in most parts of the year to the extent that besides the scarcity, the prices were prohibited and unaffordable.

“The health sector has remained in a sorry state. Government officials are comfortable driving government vehicles, they are comfortable living in government houses and among others, but uncomfortable going to government hospitals. It has been terrible.

“The cost of living has been criminally high, unemployment, poverty and insecurity of life and property are just beyond description. The last year was really bad,” Vanguard quoted Ugboaja as saying.

Ugboaja urged President-elect Bola Tinubu not to increase the suffering of Nigerians, especially workers.

“We have a President-elect whose direct voice said the opposite, even in his campaign. His own direct voice said he was going to deal with the issue of managing the downstream sector pressure, not minding the level of protest and anger that will be borne out of it. That clearly shows you a direction of his insensitivity.

“It is not like Buhari who denied every word that was spoken to convince Nigerians to vote for him and the storyline we got was that it was never said by him, but by his supporters and party.

‘’In this case, it was a direct quote from Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the direction he would pursue regarding the mainstream of the Nigerian economy, which is fuel management.

“You know that effort to refine in Nigeria cannot cause an uproar, but set up of refineries in Nigeria will cause jubilation. It will be a spontaneous scream for joy if Nigerian refining capacity is restored.

‘’What will present an outrage and force people into the streets will be an astronomical rise in the cost of petroleum products. So, we are waiting with bated breath to know what will happen.

“In fact, this might be the first time we will be wishing that a politician will not honour his campaign promise. It is an irony and cruel joke. But it might be one time in Nigeria that electorate will be praying that a politician does not honour his campaign statement,” he said.

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  • This people are either sick in the brain or dont know what they are saying. You go around campaigning for the same people and yet after election you come out to talk that you wanna go on strike or complain. You’re in a toxic relationship with your poverty enabler. Since you are campaigning for them, enjoy the sweetness of your suffering

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