The United labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) has expressed support for the licensing of modular refineries in the country to help reduce the country’s dependence on imported refined petroleum products.
The endorsement is coming on the heels of a statement made by Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo during his visit to the Niger Delta region of the country recently.
Speaking during a working committee meeting in Lagos, National president of ULC, Comrade Joe Ajaero noted that there was need for urgent and practical policy steps to be taken by the federal government to avoid conditions of living worsening.
The labour centre also commended current efforts of the government at protecting the Naira by the use of some very positive actions that have lifted the value of the currency domestically.
“To this end, the ULC calls on the federal Government to deploy the same zeal with which it has battled to halt the decimation of the Naira to mount a more sustainable action to push the exchange of the naira to at least less than a N100 to US$1. We once again suggest that since the importation of Petroleum products constitute about 60 Percent of total Foreign exchange consumption, if we revive our refineries, build new ones, especially the Modular types as canvassed by the presidency, and most especially, the legalisation of the illegal refining of petroleum products in the Niger Delta within the next six months, we would have attained self-sufficiency in domestic refining and exit forever this embarrassment that is the continued dependent on imports for our Petroleum product needs. This will take away this pressure on the Naira and make our macro-economic policies more endogenously driven thus better managed.”
“We are aghast at the present condition of living in the Country with the ruling elites remaining passive allowing the people to continue in penury while they wallow in unbridled consumption. Nigerians currently more than ever before are going through harrowing experiences of unimaginable dimension that is proportional to a nation at war.
“The Human suffering index in Nigeria has worsened dangerously in the past one year with each succeeding day bringing with it increasing hardship on the citizenry especially the poor and the vulnerable. Life in Nigeria is becoming unbearable and the citizens are groaning under the heavy yoke which the continued mismanagement of the nation’s affairs has foisted on all and sundry despite the promise of this government to the contrary. Access to public services has become a mirage with increasing number of avoidable deaths becoming the order of the day in our various hospitals. Poverty is becoming the norm denying many Nigerians access to basic nutrition with a looming return of the dreaded war time nutritional diseases of Kwashiorkor and Marasmus.”
“We reiterate that Governance is about the people. Any government no matter the claims to altruism that does not make the lives of the citizenry better is heading to ignominy. It is therefore pertinent that this Government should begin to think more about Nigerians and how to make their lives better rather than seeing the people as objects for exploitation.”
The ULC also commended the federal government for allowing the conundrum that was almost unfolding at the Judiciary to be resolved amicably by sending the name of Honourable Justice Onnoghen to the Senate where he was eventually confirmed the Chief Justice of the federation. However, we call on the federal Government to avoid a reoccurrence as it poses great danger to our democracy and puts the stability of the nation on a knife’s edge. Serious nations do not toy with such critical issues of constitutionality.
“We therefore call on all the nation’s political actors to ensure the continued independence of the Judiciary as a viable and stabilising arm of the tripod that makes our governance whole. It is self-destructive thus exposes our nation to grievous harm if any arm of the government is emasculated in anyway and denied the powers to contribute to an effective and efficient democracy.
The union also condemned the decision of Arik management towards disregarding an MOU signed last December. The labour centre also react to Arik air management towards unionisation.
The union has announced the appointment of Comrade Didi Adodo as the General Secretary of ULC.
Amongst other issues discussed included the spate of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa and the level of alleged impunity in industrial relations.