The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has handed over what it called Nigerian ‘workers’ Charter of demands’ to the Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
At a Townhall meeting with Organized Labour at Chida Hotel Conference Centre in Abuja today, December 19, the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said that the charter of demands is powered by the urgent need for the next President to wage fierce war against corruption.
According to Wabba, corruption has almost destroyed the social and economic fabrics of Nigeria across the private and public sectors, saying that it is the reason the country is not making desired progress.
“In Nigeria, our problem is people problem and we must have a government that will prioritise the fight against corruption. This is a key demand of Labour. We also need government that will make social and economic justice a priority.”
Responding, Asíwájú Tinubu said that his administration would have a zero-tolerance to corruption, adding that his government will strengthen anti-corruption agencies.
On crude out theft, he said that if elected, he would ensure maximum deployment of technology to monitor, protect pipelines and block theft, while also condemning those receiving stolen crude, saying that if there is no receiver, there won’t be supplier.
Tinubu said that he has always been a fighter for democracy and the poor to have good life, saying: “I have dedicated my entire being to that cause. I was detained, then was forced into exile because of my refusal to accept anything less than a government based on the proposition that the will of the people is sovereign and should reign over armed might and imposition.
“I believe that those assembled here today share the same ideals of progressive and democratic good governance. I have spent my political life advocating for the rights and interests of ordinary Nigerians as you also do. We have long been fellow travellers on the same road. I hope that we shall continue as friends and brothers.”
Tinubu said that if elected, his administration would make the fiscal and monetary policies work for the workers and Nigerians so they can have a good life.
He also said that he would ensure the nation is massively industrialised to give more people better paying jobs, while also opening doors to more emerging sectors younger ones can harness.
“My Action Plan for a Better Nigeria, sets out a vision of opportunity, social justice and prosperity for all. I seek a Nigeria where sufficient jobs with decent wages give people the chance to live better lives. Where the private sector thrives, we will not disrupt it. However, where the private sector cannot do it alone, my government will take the lead in lending a helping hand.
“For young Nigerians, my goal will be to open the doors wide to emerging sectors such as the digital economy, entertainment and culture, and tourism. Specific policies will empower women and young people to become more active in our nation’s leadership.
“Our industrial policy will help Nigerian businesses manufacture, create, and invent more of the goods and services we require and to export more of those products across the globe. We will modernise and expand public infrastructure to create jobs, develop skills and spur rapid growth across all economic sectors, giving real opportunity to those who previously only dreamed of it.”
He added that his government would protect Nigerians and their property, strengthen the national security architecture to end terror, kidnapping, banditry, and all other forms of violent extremism and bring policing and the police closer to the communities they serve.
He promised to foster a closer partnership with Organised Labour where dialogue on major policy issues and cooperation will become the order of the day.
Deputy Director-General of the APC PCC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said that Tinubu’s Action Plan will bring back dead industries like Kaduna Textile that once employed over 4000 workers.
Oshiomhole charged the labour movement and civil society that the basis for their support for a presidential candidate should be who among the candidates has social and economic policies that will make life better for the working families in Nigeria. The former Edo State Governor said Asiwaju Tinubu is the best candidate for the workers to adopt because of his antecedents as a successful governor in Lagos.
The session was well attended by Labour leaders from the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress among others. Comrades Wabba and Festus Osifo led the two Labour associations to the event.
Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Kashim Shettima, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq (Kwara) as well as Hon James Faleke, Secretary of the Campaign Council, and other APC leaders attended the interactive session.
Former Deputy President of NLC and Director of Labour Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Comrade Isa Aremu, set the tone for the engagement when he told the Labour leaders and workers that the choice before them and Nigerians in next election is who among the presidential candidates is truly committed, tested and trusted to protect workers and the poor and who is ready to industrialise the country to bring back decent jobs and good pay.