By Victor Ahiuma-Young
FEW days to the New Year, Organised Labour, has called on Nigerians to prepare to fight against injustice, impunity, corruption and other negative tendencies that have foisted poverty and sufferings on the nation.
Speaking through the United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, Labour commended Nigerians especially the masses and workers for surviving another herculean year, describing the outgoing year as “a year filled with hopelessness and helplessness but through which we all went still standing.”
In a statement by its President, Joe Ajaero, ULC said: “Though many of us have suffered adversely, though many have succumbed to the cold hands of avoidable deaths, though many have yielded to the Sahara desert and Mediterranean while trying to run away from the unconscionable leadership at home, we still believe that if we join our hands together, we can create the desirable change which all of us have craved for all these years thus make Nigeria a place we can all want to live in.
“As 2018 beckons, we wish to urge all Nigerians especially the down trodden to prepare for war against injustice, against impunity, against corruption and against wanton deprivation foisted on us by the nation’s politicians.
Our hands are stretched out to all whose interests it is to rid Nigeria of all the crass and corrupt actions of those in position of governance even as we commit to negotiating a fair and equitable minimum wage that would truly serve Nigerian workers and masses effectively and positively. We shall ensure that the minimum wage review is concluded expeditiously and becomes law on or before February, 2018.
“ULC will work with other groups with which it has already entered into discussions to ensure that the different platforms for insipid corruption thus underdevelopment is interrogated, exposed and dethroned.
We shall look into the hidden and institutionalised corruption that the management of the nation’s coffers especially the Foreign Exchange, FX, conundrum have become and we shall seek a new framework that would enable economic development that would benefit all Nigerians as the New Year beckons.
“We want all Nigerians to be alert as the coming year is a year with expectedly high level of politicking towards 2019. We should be aware of the shenanigans of our politicians and should all work together to ensure that 2019 truly brings into power only those that really love Nigeria and Nigerians. We should ensure that we speak together and act together creating platforms that would enable us realise our collective interests and desires as a people with common interests and objectives.
“Our hope, our future and our destiny lies within us and in our hands. Politicians are not prepared to make us look forward to them with great expectation. We are the only ones that can make it possible! There is indeed hope for Nigeria in all of us. “
On the current fuel scarcity, ULC, while lamenting the return of long fuel queues across the country with its attendant suffering amidst already arduous conditions of living on the citizenry generated by the unbroken chain of ineffective governance by those who walk the corridors of Power in Nigeria, declared: “It is indeed worrying that Governance has been turned upside down in this country as the objective of governance seems to be more in the direction of making life and living more and more excruciating for the masses.
Perhaps this explains why many have unfortunately come to the conclusion that Nigeria and Nigerians will be better off if Government is removed from the nation’s equation.
“Our investigations and reports reaching to us from our members in the industry show that the present debacle is clearly a manifestation of another failure of leadership in Nigeria. It cannot be blamed on any panic buying or hoarding as the product is seriously in short supply. Importers are not bringing in enough products while NNPC is not in any position to meet the demands of the market.
“Importers cannot bring in products because of logistic bottle-necks created by the Government at the point of procuring Foreign Exchange while NNPC lacks the capacity to bring in more products that are needed this period.
It is worrisome that at this time every year Nigerians are allowed to go through this harrowing experience because those that ought to realise the exponential increase in movement across the length and breadth of this nation as the citizens relocate in celebration of the season and its subsequent implications for demand on domestic fuel consumption did not take adequate measures to ensure that the gap that would be created will be filled by increased supply of the product to the market.”