The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to broaden it’s approach in addressing the recent spate of attacks by vandals on the nation’s oil pipeline installations in the Niger delta.
The TUC President, Bobboi Kaigama, said this recently in Abuja at the TUC 10th Triennial National Delegates Conference, with the theme: “Labour and National Re-orientation: The Change We Want.”
Kaigama said the facilities must be upgraded in order to block avenues through which the nation’s commonwealth was being stolen.
He said: “Of recent, revenue from the sales of crude has become so lean due to the activities of vandals.
“The country is presently losing 800,000 barrels of oil daily, a development that has affected the power sector and reduced power generation to less than 1,500 Mega Watts.
“The manufacturing sector is also having a feel of this calamitous situation as companies that cannot bear the burden of running their generators all day long are closing down.
“This is the time for government to be broad in its outlook generally so that all competing interests are carried along and not alienated.
“This way, most of these challenges can be tackled well in advance and appropriate solutions to fix the current challenges.”
Kaigama called on the Federal Government and the Niger Delta militants to embrace dialogue to end vandalism.
Earlier, Ayuba Wabba, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, said labour movement in the country would not relent in its struggle for better welfare for workers and the fight against anti-policies of government.
Wabba explained that it was through consistent agitation that issues of workers welfare could be achieved.
He said: “We must stand as one and we must speak with one voice in order to achieve the purpose of why we are called to lead.
“That is why what every union does must reflect the decision of its members as a whole.”
Wabba said the theme of the conference was not only apt, but central as it dealt with leadership re-orientation.
The NLC president also called on the Federal Government not to prescribe policies that were neo-liberal.
“There is need for policy engagements that is not prescribed by forces,” he said.
Wabba said the Academic Staff Union of Universities would provide the NLC with eight of its best economists to negotiate the review of the National Minimum Wage.
The first female President of TUC, Peace Obiagulu, urged the NLC and TUC not to relent in the fight for improved minimum wage and welfare for workers in the country.
Obiagulu called on labour movement to ensure that the economic realities were properly highlighted during the negotiation of the new wage for workers.
Peter Esele, the immediate past TUC President-General, called for a stronger collaboration between TUC and NLC, adding: “This is the only way objectives of trade unionism can be achieved.”