NLC Says Unemployment Will Continue In 2017

NLC Says Unemployment Will Continue In 2017

…challenges FG to name jobs it created in 2016

Chris Steven,

Despite claim by the present administration that it has created more jobs than any other government in the history of the country, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that the crisis of monumental unemployment in the country will remain with us in the New Year.

It challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled federal Government and the 23 states controlled by the party to make public the scorecards of the jobs created in the last 20 months.

The Congress in its New Year message to Nigerian workers issued in Abuja on Sunday by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said it was time to ask the government after 20 months to give scorecard of the jobs created so far noting that the APC had in its manifesto promised Nigerians of delivering three million jobs annually.

The Federal Government recently released the names of 200,000 successful applicants under its N-Power Volunteer Scheme under which each volunteer will be paid N30,000 per month for two years before they are assimilated into the Civil Service.

While reiterating that the ” the Labour Movement lamented that the government has turned deaf ears to its ideas and suggestions on how to create new and sustainable jobs.

“In the New Year, the crisis of monumental unemployment in the country will remain with us. The APC government at the centre had made clear promise in its manifesto of delivering 3 million jobs annually.

After some 20 months in the saddle, it is perhaps time to ask the government to give a scorecard to the Nigerian people that went through a lot of odds to elect this government. How many jobs has the Federal Government and the 23 states controlled by the ruling party created in the course of the last 20 or so months, in furtherance of its pledge to Nigerians during the electioneering campaign.

We had stated in our past May Day and New Year messages, as well as other policy pronouncements, that we have some ideas on how, we can create new and sustainable jobs. Unfortunately, no one in government has thought it necessary to give us a hearing on what these ideas are, and what they entail. Presently, we are not even sure which ministry or agency of the government is the focal point on job creation.

What we have said of the ruling APC party, applies in large measures as well to the PDP and the States they control.

We will in the New Year continue to knock on the doors of all organs of government and put on the agenda the massive unemployment situation the country is facing.” The Congress said

On the state of the economy, NLC also expressed concerns that nine months after  the Federal government convened an economic revival retreat, the positive impact of government’s plans for the economy are yet to be felt.

It particularly lamented that government has continued to stick to its neo-liberal economic management path rather than put funds into the economy, building infrastructure and increase social spending to reflate the economy in times of recession

” When the Federal government convened an economic revival retreat in March 2016, we were cautiously optimistic that the government has finally listened to the several criticisms about its lack of deft in handling of the economy. We however also noted that if the premise or rationale of government’s economic management is along the neo-liberal model, then nothing substantive would come out of it.

We are afraid that nine months afterwards, we are not seeing the positive impact of government’s plans for the economy. It is common knowledge that in times of economic recession, governments put funds into the economy, building infrastructure and increase social spending to reflate the economy. Not much is being done in this direction to get us out of the economic recession. Government, on the contrary is sticking to its neo-liberal economic management path.

The current situation in the energy sector is exactly what we will continue to have when we abdicate responsibility of the state being the driving force for the development of our society. Given our stage of development, our country needs to adopt the path of planning, the path of the state as the engine of development. Government therefore needs to reflect and possibly go back to the drawing board in view of unforeseen challenges in order to deliver on the promise of change” it said

The NLC also lamented that the Federal Government has failed to fulfill its promise of putting in place a palliative regime since increase in pump price of fuel from N86 a litre to N145 a litre in May 2016 saying “the NNPC  continues to do the bulk of the importation of Petroleum Products thereby putting  pressure on our foreign exchange situation.

Our infrastructure continue to be underfunded; in addition to the underfunding of education, health and other social welfare facilities”.

It expressed support for  the recent Federal government’s decision to institute reward of up to five percent  on recovered stolen funds to any successful whistle blower noting that this policy which was approved in December, by the Federal Executive Council, was one of the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.

“In the New Year, we shall continue to work and collaborate with the President’s Advisory Committee Against Corruption to execute its mandate. We shall in the New Year also join the committee in campaigning for the establishment of a Special Court to try high profile corruption and other special crimes.

It will be recalled that all chairmen of EFCC from Nuhu Ribadu to the current acting chairman, have canvased for this special court, in recognition of the frustrations they have encountered on the length of time litigations take in regular courts in the country.” NLC said

The Congress however said the New Year  presents an opportunity to review the previous years as well as offers the nation, the platform to re-strategize for better performance in governance at all levels.