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TUC opposes reintroduction of tolling on roads

By on December 17, 2015

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has described the planned reintroduction of tolls to assist the government in raising funds as an unwelcome development.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Lagos, the union noted that the cost of demolition of the toll gates during the former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime was more than the cost of its construction.

The communiqué signed by the President, TUC, Bobboi Kaigama and the General Secretary, Musa Lawal, stressed that such frequent policy somersault was responsible for delayed development of the country.

In addition, the executive council of the union insisted that there would be no downward review of the N18,000 minimum wage to satisfy the demands of the governors, saying that the governors’ actions would not deter the organised labour from presenting a new wage proposal.

It stated, “The NEC-in-Session condemns the statement of the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum that they can no longer pay the minimum wage, and that the minimum wage was forced on them when oil sold for $126 per barrel against the present price of $41 per barrel.

“We insist as follows: That the governors are merely being true to their tradition of concocting flimsy excuses when the interests of workers and the masses are in contention.

“That the question of imposition does not arise since the negotiations leading to the enactment of minimum wage passed through all the tenets of the International Labour Organisation’s tripartite structure. This is so because the employers – both private (Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association) and public (government) – as well as the organised labour and government (as regulator) were all involved.

TUC commended the Federal Government for its refusal to remove fuel subsidy, saying that the decision was in favour of the poor.

It said, “However, the NEC-in-Session enjoins the Federal Government to find a permanent solution to fuel crisis, especially through revamping the existing oil refineries, building new ones, and stepping up the fight against crude oil theft, oil pipeline vandalism and corruption in the oil and gas sector.

“We believe that with all these effectively done, the dependence on importation of refined oil products will drastically reduce, which in turn will naturally stop the need to pay any form of subsidy. It will also automatically boost employment in line with the government’s drive to create more jobs.”

“The Federal Government should take a second look at the list of 42 prohibited items in its foreign exchange policy. It should make the policy flexible so that genuine manufacturers can access needed raw materials.”