By Victor Ahiuma-Young
AS oil workers become restive over ongoing amendment of the Nigerian Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) Act, by the National Assembly, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, has warned of grave implications of the proposed amendment to the country. The umbrella body for senior staff in the country, also rejected what it called its conspicuous omission or non-inclusion of TUC in boards of parastatals and government agencies.
In a communique at the end of National Executive Council, NEC, in Lagos, TUC leaders noted that “NEC in session views with the greatest sense of responsibility the implication of the proposed amendment to the Nigerian Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) Act, such as deletion of government’s undertaking to honour the Shareholder Agreement of the Company and other contemplated contracts.
“•Deletion of Assurances by Government to retain agreed Fiscal and Security Regime of the investment; •Extension to NLNG of three per cent contribution of the total annual budget of the company, payable only by upstream companies to Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. Therefore, the house condemns the amendment because it will damage the country’s image and harm the much needed foreign investment bearing in mind the implication for security and the attendant job loses with its effect on the citizenry.”
On absence of TUC in government boards, it said, “NEC-in-session also observes the conspicuous omission or non-inclusion of TUC in boards of parastatals and government agencies in matters that concern employees. NEC-in-session also calls for review of all laws in which one labour centre is named and the other left out so that representation will be fair and just to all workers.”
Also, the “NEC-in-session observes that food security is not being taken seriously in the country. NEC further observes that there had been intervention in other sectors of the economy while food and beverage sector has been left out. This could pose danger for the country.”
On manufacturing in the country, “the NEC-in session wants government to revisit the issue of Export Expansion Grant (EEG) to the manufacturers that are into export of their products, that was stopped, so as to encourage export and earn more foreign exchange to boost our GDP.”
Similarly, on Labour Laws and Civil Service Rules, “The NEC-in-session wants all concerned to see to the amendment of the Nigerian constitution, the Trade Unions Act, Trade Disputes Act, and other labour related laws as they are long overdue. Also the existing pre-retirement rules must be respected by the civil/public servants.
“The NEC-in-session believes that the issue of casualization and outsourcing is becoming a serious problem because it is not properly regulated and monitored by government agencies. Outsourced and contract workers do not enjoy regular terms and conditions of employment particularly as they have been deprived of union membership.