BY OSCARLINE ONWUEMENYI
The coalition of organised labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, yesterday, tasked the in-coming Federal and state governments to pay more attention to job creation as a policy in order to alleviate poverty and reduce suffering in the country.
Speaking to herald the May 1, 2011 Workers’ Day rally in the Federal Capital Territory and 36 states of the Federation, the Chair of the NLC/TUC 2011 May Day Committee, Comrade Samuel Adeoye, noted that going by the nature of the elections, Nigerians were placing a lot of faith in the in-coming government to turn things around as quickly as possible in the country.
According to him, “the new government that begins on May 29, 2011, will do well to focus its energy and resources on issues that affect most Nigerians, including the growing levels of unemployment and poverty all over the country.
“So many of the insecurities witnessed across the country today is mainly as a result of unemployment among the vibrant youth, who are constantly under pressure to find ways to survive.
“Therefore, the greatest achievement of any government would be to create employment for its citizens or, at least, support the effort of investors in that regard.”
He added that “as for us in the labour movement, our mission shall be to effectively mobilize and put pressure on the in-coming leadership to create jobs for the teeming mass of youths, especially the hundreds of thousands that graduate from our high Institutions every year.”
He noted that as part of the activities to mark May Day, the Congresses were organizsing a symposium today, which will focus on the theme of the rally, “Growing the National Economy for Job Creation and Peoples’ Welfare.”
The NLC chieftain explained that the National May (Workers’) Day will be marked by a parade by workers at the Eagles’ Square in Abuja, with President Goodluck Jonathan leading other top government officials, including the Senate President and Speaker of the House of representatives, in attendance.
He said: “The May Day will be addressed by the President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, and President of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Peter Esele, as well as leaders of civil society organisations in the country.
Adeoye further noted that in-coming government must also focus on improvement of basic infrastructure, including power and roads, which would support efforts towards the industrialization of the economy and create employment for millions of Nigerians.
He said: “We have been saying this for a long time, and we believe that this is time for our government to begin to deliver on its promises, especially in improving power and other infrastructure so that investors can come in and build the industries that we need to revive our national economy.”
He added that only through the creation of jobs would the economy grow and peoples’ welfare be improved.
The May Day rally will be attended by organized workers, professionals, students, market men and women, as well as members of other civil society organizations.