NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, has described 2012 as most challenging to workers declaring that it was characterized by incessant job losses and unemployment among others.
According the President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, in a New Year, the situation demanded for workers and the Nigerian people, more than ever before, a collective will of struggle and patriotism, to check the apparent drift in the affairs of state in the interest of working families and the Nigerian people.
He said “The economy, during the year 2012, was characterized by a number of maladies, with dire consequences for workers and the Nigerian people. In particular, the crisis of unemployment continues to be the greatest of these.
60 per cent unemployment rate
“Official statistics puts the unemployment rate at above 24 percent. As alarming as this would seem, it actually disguises the enormity of the unemployment problem given the huge pool of disguised unemployment and underemployment. The incidence of unemployment among the youths is even more alarming.
“Though official figures indicate over 40 percent of them as unemployed, the reality is that about 60% of youths remain unemployed. On average, graduates of the nation’s universities and polytechnics continue to remain unemployed four years after discharge from the mandatory NYSC scheme. Other categories of less qualified youths have been roaming the streets in millions without gainful employment. Thus, resigning to a life of perpetual destitution and despondency in a country blessed with so much resources and potentials.”
“The underlying inflation in the economy has also continued to erode the purchasing power of workers’ incomes, making the N18,000 Minimum Wage largely a poverty wage. Aggregate inflation, which officially stands at 11.7 percent in the third quarter of the year, might be misleading as the fuel price hike in January, the increase in electricity tariffs and the floods in the third quarter of the year that have been major culprits driving inflation, have largely disempowered working families.”