Organised Labour in Abuja has relayed to the Federal Government that Nigerian masses were only enduring hard times in the hope that it would end corruption.
Speaking at the 10th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, its President, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, also lamented the exposed cases of corruption by actors in the last administration.
According to him, “Presently the economy of the country is in a very bad shape. We are in a period of stagnation with its attendant slow economic growth, high unemployment and rising prices. The country’s currency, the Naira is in a free fall. There is insecurity posed by Boko Haram insurgents, problem of herdsmen and Niger Delta militants, and a host of other ills bedevilling the country. In spite of all these challenges, however, we cannot afford to give up the struggle. But I see hope coupled with signals of a brighter future for our unborn generations. We will surely get there.”
According to him: “The theme of this Conference, “Labour and National Re-orientation: The Change we want” is apt and well crafted to reflect our present situation and steps needed to be taken to reshape the country and favourably reposition it to rank among the best in the comity of nations.
In a 15 page speech, Kaigama chronicled the socio-economic and political crises facing the country and concluded that corruption was the bane of the nation’s development.
He said: “The several mind-boggling corrupt cases we have at hand are eloquent testimonies to the fact that but for providence, the country would have since ceased to exist. Some people have cornered a large chunk of the wealth of the country to themselves and their cronies. In the past, we questioned the rationale behind any individual keeping two billion naira, but today such a question might be considered irrelevant as individuals even keep billions of dollars in soak-away pits, septic tanks and even buried them in the ground.
“The fight against corruption is on and we commend the present administration for the bold and courageous initiative. It is however necessary to state that more still need to be done effectively to sanitise the system.”
Speaking, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said the Federal Government was aware of the hardships Nigerians were passing through and noted that the government was doing everything possible to lessen the sufferings the citizens were going through.
While reiterating that the rot left by the previous administration was enormous, he said “the present economic circumstances and the attendant hardships must be approached with new reorientation that these sacrifices we are all called to make at this point of our national life are needful to correct the misrule of the last administration and put our nation on a sustainable path of economic recovery.
“This government is sensitive to the current plight of Nigerians and had committed itself to ensuring that every possible effort must be made to ameliorate the present sufferings. In this regard, the palliatives contained in the 2016 Budget must be implemented with the highest sense of responsibility and patriotism. Nigerians must be restored to its former glory where citizens’ welfare is top on government’s priority.”