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NLC urges workers to vote out anti-workers’ politicians in 2015

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday called on workers to vote out `anti-workers’ politicians’ during the 2015 general elections. The NLC President, Mr Abdulwaheed…

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday called on workers to vote out `anti-workers’ politicians’ during the 2015 general elections.

The NLC President, Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, made the call in his New Year message to the workers.

He said politicians who were insensitive to the welfare of workers should be rejected to ensure industrial peace and progress in the country.

“We call on workers to massively reject these anti-workers’ politicians in the 2015 elections.

“We direct our councils in the affected states to serve appropriate ultimatums on their government to pay the arrears of salaries or face disruption of services,’’ he said.

He said 11 state governments and some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) owed workers’ salaries.

The NLC president noted that states like Osun, Benue and Plateau owed their workers arrears of salaries ranging from three to eight months.

He added that some federal government employees in the Ministries of Education, Labour and Productivity, among others, were also owed arrears of salaries ranging from one to three months.

The Labour leader called for fair, transparent and credible elections, saying: “Nigeria is bigger than any partisan interests and its sovereignty and inviolability are sacrosanct.”

Omar urged workers to come out en masse to perform their civic duty and defend their votes during the elections.

He attributed the incessant industrial actions in 2014, especially in the education and health sector, to breach of agreements government entered into with workers.

He urged the government to tackle unemployment, reduce crime rate and address the problem of power supply in the New Year.

According to him, government should fashion out a comprehensible and implementable national security strategy, to deal with the myriads of threats to national unity and sovereignty.

He also called on government to boost the nation’s domestic refining capacity instead of depending on imports, whose landing cost was dependent on prevailing exchange rates and other motivations.

“We still stand by our time-tested position that the only permanent solution to the crises of petroleum product pricing is adequate domestic refining,’’ The NLC president said.

He also urged government to diversify the economy by developing other sectors, and expressed support to the introduction of luxury tax on the rich.

Omar warned against any move to rationalise staff due to current economic challenges.

“We are convinced that the surest way to manage the budget under austerity is to reduce the cost of governance. Bloated perquisites of political office holders must be cut.

“We also strongly advise against consideration for rationalisation of staff. Perquisites and comfort of politicians need to reflect the reality of the times.

“The size of the Presidential fleet, the cost of running the State House and the retinue of political jobbers can all be reasonably cut without reducing the effectiveness of the Presidency,’’ Omar added.

The Labour leader equally condemned what he called the imposition of exploitative electricity tariff on Nigerians.

He commended the courage, resilience, sacrifice and patriotism of Nigerian workers in the face of daunting challenges in 2014. (NAN)

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