By Victor Ahiuma-Young, reporting from Geneva, Switzerland
ORGANISED Labour yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, told the international community that the worsening conditions of Nigerian workers were getting out of hand.
The President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, who addressed the global body of workers’ union on behalf of Nigerian workers said “We wish to state that the situation of the working class in Nigeria continues to be dire. This is because of the high and increasing cost of living, rising number of dependants given the deepening unemployment situation, low social protection coverage, delayed payment of salaries amongst others. It is for these reasons that we have demanded and achieved the composition of the tripartite national minimum wage committee to deliver an upward review.
“We also wish to state that migration as an unstoppable human phenomenon will require broad-based collaboration, especially as we seek to ensure shared migrations benefits. For Nigeria and Africa, our demographic trends suggests that we will require assistance on youth’s skills development and employment creations opportunities.”
The NLC President also highlighted labour’s belief in the values and efficacy of dialogue, saying “It is in this regard that we commend the continuous dialogue with our people in the Niger-delta by the government. This is yielding good results as acts of sabotage on petroleum facilities have substantially reduced and economic activities in the region are picking up. Organised labour will continue to encourage and support the dialogue process as well as monitor the progress.
“We wish to salute the efforts of the Nigerian government and the Joint Multinational Task Force on the determined collaborative efforts which led to improved security and the downgrading of the capabilities of Boko Haram to wreak havoc on our people. We equally salute the courage and compassion of the Nigerian government to negotiate the release of another 82 of the kidnapped Chibok girls. Nigerian government and security agencies will continue to enjoy our support as they work to ensure the release of all kidnapped persons and the total liberation of the entire communities in North-East Nigeria.”
Wabba reiterated that Nigerian workers were worried about the huge Illicit Financial Flows, IFF, from Africa adding “the African Union has established that a very conservative figure of $60 billion leaves Africa annually through IFFs activities. Nigeria is making efforts to implement Recommendation 202 (social protection floors) as one of the tools to tackle poverty and inequality amongst her people and communities. But resource mobilisation challenges for financing development persist. It is known that our chances at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are greater if IFFs activities are halted and the leaking revenues channeled to government coffers to support public services delivery.”
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