By Victor Young
Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has called on African governments to build and expand infrastructure, create an enabling environment to attract ‘responsible’ investors while also investing in education, healthcare to enhance citizens’ development.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, made the call in Lagos while speaking at the 6th Africa Social Partners Summit, hosted by Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA.
Wabba contended that “all over the world we need jobs. In Africa, we need plenty of new jobs. Yet, jobs will not happen by happenstance. Job generation is a reward for economic growth. The economy can only grow with an increase in purchasing power. The wages of workers underline the purchasing power in any clime. It is a major driver for productivity and growth.
“Wages in Africa are the poorest around the world. For a continent that is endowed with enormous mineral and human resources, this is totally unacceptable. It is sad that while other regions have deservedly elevated the wage discourse to decent and living wages, many African governments and employers still see the minimum wage as some sort of lottery for workers.
“Workers all over Africa demand for wage justice.”
According to him, “while we support government initiatives on the ease of doing business, we must build the infrastructure for the future we desire. If we reduce the high incidence of official corruption, there will be enough funds to fund economic growth and bring about shared prosperity.
“Whatever we do, we must ensure that the quantum leap in human population in Africa must not lag behind proactive visioning and action by the government. We must plan and act like tomorrow is already here because Africa’s tomorrow is already at the door heavily pregnant.
“In today’s globalised world, economic growth does not happen in isolation. The deliberate undermining of a region through unfair trade practices, restrictions, debt blackmail and the imposition of ‘impossible’ trade conditions do not only hurt the target economies but also the predatory states. The current gale of forced migration warns all of us that crises anywhere could mean chaos everywhere. A word suffices.”