Recently, the price of petrol pump price was hiked to N172.17, making it the fourth time this upward fluctuation has happened in 2020. There is also the issue of increase in electricity tariff. Daily Trust Saturday sought the opinions of some Nigerians on what they think about the performance of the Nigeria Labour Congress, the body saddled with the responsibility of looking out for the welfare of the country’s workers.
Benjamin Yohanna Maigari, 47, Politician
As far as I am concerned, NLC doesn’t exist because they have woefully failed Nigerians. The mistake we are making is that NLC is only representing workers. They are not representing the entire country.
So, to me, NLC has failed even the people they are representing because prices of foodstuffs have skyrocketed and yet they are dining with the government and enjoying themselves. We don’t have confidence in them.
Elder Tajudeen Ajibade, Veteran Journalist
There is no doubt that things are becoming difficult for Nigerians on a daily basis, however, there is still hope for the future. The economy of the world is collapsing and that may have informed the actions of government. The NLC may have seen the danger of fighting the government through strikes, hence their resolve to go into dialogue.
Mahmood Mohammed Kaduna, Businessman
NLC officials are not doing anything to help Nigerians. When they sit with the government, it’s like they are being paid to keep quiet. They make noise and days after become silent. For example, the last time they made a fuss about fuel pump price increase, they later withdrew. Now, it’s sold at about N170 and food stuff prices have increased, thereby making life difficult for Nigerians.
Ismail Adam Alhassan, 27, Merchant, Kano
The Nigerian Labour Congress as the people’s regulatory body that checkmates the excesses of government has become a bulldog puppy that they only take out for a walk and come back playing even after several barks. It lacks the will to confront the ageing government about high cost of living today in the country. Everything seems to have been taken over by the government without anyone looking into it to see how it affects the poor.
It’s a union by name but it does not act as one. As a student, I am a victim of NLC’s non-performance. They are not engaging the government on how to deal with ASUU’s lingering strike that is keeping many students at home and idle. Idleness leads to certain misdeeds. The union, in my opinion, has partially helped with the push for minimum wage increase at the federal level, but compliance in some states is still lax.
Muhammad Alfazazi, Student, Kano
The NLC isn’t interested in what directly affects workers, such as inflation of food price, security, general welfare and global competitiveness of the labour force. We have an institutionalised problem. NLC and TUC are equally corrupt and compromised. I don’t take them seriously. I reject the fuel hike and I also reject the NLC and TUC. It’s obvious this is just a script they are playing.
Hafsat Muhammad Yola, 25, Student, Kano
I think the Nigeria Labour Congress is taking a nap and unaware of the extreme poverty Nigerians are experiencing, especially due to the increase of electricity tariff and fuel price. The average Nigerian is struggling to put food on the table on a daily basis, pay school fees, and water bill which most people consider more essential than the so-called electricity that hardly reaches 10 hours in the span of 24 hours.
The rise in fuel price also increases the cost of human necessities in the market. For example, there is no specific amount for a bag of rice in the market. 50KG of rice might cost N24,000 today and change to N25,000 tomorrow.
Furthermore, we are arrested by constant insecurity due to the activities of kidnappers in the northern region. No one is immune to their brutality. An 8- year-old girl was killed days ago in Gabasawa LGA of Kano after ransom was paid. Nigerians should be allowed to take a breath of fresh air.
NLC should please wake up from their slumber and address these issues, especially the increase in fuel price. We don’t want a repeat of EndSARS, because if man is pushed to the wall, he will turn back and attack. That protest is just the beginning of a brewing tornado. NLC bear that in mind, please.
Swandy Priscilla Banta, Public Servant, Jos
The NLC seems to be led by a team that’s smart by the half. I don’t take them seriously when they call for strike actions because I have come to realize that palliatives from the government rather than the good interest of the masses is the driving force.
Ekpeki Donald Oghenechovwe, writer, Lagos
They are horrifying and inconsistent. They have done nothing but backtrack and track mud all over their duty to the Nigerian public which they have failed woefully to do, ending up as saboteurs of the working Nigerian, the exact opposite of what they are meant to be. Really disgraceful.