Chris Steven, Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress says the 2017 budget christened budget of growth and restoration is workers friendly as workers welfare is not properly captured in it.
Ayuba Wabba, NLC President said this while speaking with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
His words: “Our budget system is not transparent enough, if you look at the estimate of this year budget, a lot of issues have arisen, especially the allocations for capital and current expenditure.
“But importantly, the fact also is that a lot of issues pertaining to the welfare of workers have not been properly captured.
“On the issue of pension, we are very certain and convinced because there is a liability presently of over N300bn that is supposed to be accommodated in the budget for the payment of pensions.
“Especially the contributory pension scheme which actually we have interfaced with the leadership of the National Assembly to try to see how this can be accommodated.
“And we are all aware that this has not been captured adequately. There are also some earned allowances which also have not been earned but a portion of it has been provided in the budget.
“So, in terms of how the budget directly affects the workers, I think some of the issues certainly have not being captured very effectively,” he said.
On the overall performance of the 2017 budget, Wabba noted that time was of the essence.
He, however, decried the late implementation of the budget, saying that substantial time has been lost in the preparation that ought to have taken effect.
Therefore our position is whatever needs to be done, needs to be done properly.
“Especially, the capital projects that have to do with putting in place our very important critical infrastructure need to receive the most desired attention.
“So that those issues can then kick start the economy and then stimulate the economy and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
“Because, one, we are not producing and ones those critical sectors are not working then we will remain in pathetic situation that we will not be able to get out of it,” the NLC president said.
Wabba added that the process and the manner of implementation of the national budget has certainly not been encouraging to Nigerians.
He noted that a study of the figures in the budget shows that, major priorities were given to areas that do not address the fundamental issues that Nigerians are passing through.
“I think there is a need for a transparent budget process where it would start very early and it will be open for public scrutiny and also the input can be made into the process.
“This will be able to address the very critical issues of our development because if you look at some aspects of the budget, the overhead seems to be much more than the capital budget.
“I think that is not good for us, that is not good for our system and that is why we are in this situation,’’ according to Wabba