The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has said that the outbreak of Covid- 19 only further exposed the appalling state of the country’s economy. The workers added that prior to the outbreak, organised labour had urged government to save the economy through diversification but all pleas were ignored.
The congress stated this at its just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. The organ’s meeting was declared opened by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Emmanuel Udom, ably represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem.
The governor counseled the TUC leadership to remain united and focused in the pursuit of its goals and aspirations, which include among others, better welfare for members and Nigerians at large, robust government policies, etc.
The NEC lamented that despite the huge loans the Federal gGovernment collected prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, no significant move was made to remedy the health, education and the manufacturing sectors of the economy, adding that the attitude of public office holders seeking healthcare abroad rather than improving the nation’s health sector was part of the problem. In its resolutions, the workers called on the Federal Government to resolve all outstanding issues with the health sector workers to avoid another industrial action.
Similarly, the workers urged the Federal Government to drastically reduce the cost of governance and eradicate contract inflation, given the level of poverty in the country, adding that government should award contracts to only labour friendly indigenous companies.
On insecurity, the TUC NEC -in-Session appreciated the effort of the security agencies in fighting crimes and criminality, but added that the Commander- in -Chief of the Arm Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the security agencies should change their operational strategies with a view to ending the menace now. “Many innocent Nigerians have lost their lives and unfortunately there appears to be no end in sight. Government and security agencies must remember that they swore to protect the lives, property and the territorial integrity of the country,” the union said.