The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has called on the federal government to drastically reduce the cost of governance to allow growth in the nation’s economy.
TUC President, Quadri Olaleye and Secretary-General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi respectively, made the call in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.
They spoke while reacting to plans by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to review the remuneration of political office holders.
The union leaders said that the pay rise for politicians would increase political violence and poverty.
“TUC is demanding that the cost of governance be drastically reduced; half of the political officials’ salaries, if put into proper use, can give hundred thousands of unemployed youths useful employment,’’ they said.
It would be recalled that the RMAFC Chairman, Elias Mbam, had said that the review of salaries and emoluments of political office holders is in view of the current economic realities.
Mbam said that at the conclusion of the review process, the entitlements of political office holders might either go up or down.
However, the TUC leaders also urged the federal hovernment not borrow money to run the economy.
According to them, report has it that if government succeeds in borrowing the $29. 9 billion it applied for, Nigeria’stotal debt profile would raise to about $84 billion.
“Even the World Bank has warned about the danger and consequences of our debts, yet it appears no one cares, if the country goes further down in shame.
“The question is, why tax or borrow just to pay politicians and service cronies when over 21 per cent of our able bodied youths are unemployed? We are worried that the insecurity situation arising from unemployment does not bother them,” the declared.
The labour leaders also called for an imminent restructuring of the nation’s political system, if the country was to move forward.