NLC Knocks Tinubu’s Economic Policies, Says It Favours Only Wealthy Nigerians 

NLC Knocks Tinubu’s Economic Policies, Says It Favours Only Wealthy Nigerians 

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has taken a swipe at the policies of the President Tinubu-led Federal Government as promoting the interest of the powerful and wealthy individuals while impoverishing the poor and low income earners.

The labour movement said the greatest loser under the current situation are the Nigerian masses as their economy is weakened, traumatized and unable to grow and remain sustainably healthy.

President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, while presenting a paper on the economic policies of the Tinubu administration at the 21st Daily Trust Dialogue held in Abuja on Thursday, said that the government’s policy trust is largely driven by neo-liberal principles.

He said that while the few who are rich smile to the banks, majority of Nigerians go hungry and are worried about where their next meals will come from. 

Ajaero said that policies like the removal of petrol subsidy, naira devaluation, and other measures have contributed to inflation, reduced purchasing power and job losses. 

He said that organized labour expects President Tinubu to review his policies and consider seriously the implications of any government policy on the well-being of the people.

According to him, the expansion of foreign exchange allocation and privatization efforts may benefit specific groups, but historical precedents raise concerns about their long-term success. 

“The cash crunch, whether intentional or not, poses challenges for citizens. A holistic overhaul of these policies is essential to make them more effective and sustainable.

“We can only describe the economic policies of this government as the enthronement of profit over the people. Those that are therefore applauding these policies are the Bretton Wood Institutions (IMF and World Bank) who as usual have foisted the supremacy of a pseudo-market system without adequate institutional capacity to check abuses on the country to the detriment of the citizens,” he said.

Speaking further, Ajaero also described some of the present administration’s policies as inconsistent, saying such policies have heightened pervasive threat of massive kidnappings, abductions and banditry across the country.

“Some of this administration’s key economic decisions since inauguration could be summed up in the following: hike in the price of petrol, devaluation of the naira, freeing the foreign exchange market to merge all the windows, fiscal expansion and increasing the debt stock through more borrowings.

“In any case, in the surreal landscape of a nation grappling with escalating insecurity, discussing the intricacies of a government’s economic policies seems akin to debating the colour of curtains in a burning house.

“The pervasive threat of massive kidnappings, abductions and banditry casts an ominous shadow over the very fabric of society, rendering economic discourse almost absurd in the face of urgent and life-threatening crises,” he said.

In summing up his presentation, the NLC president urged the government to review some of its policies and seek creative ways to reduce the hardship on the growing army of the poor in Nigeria.

He suggested that government should support the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, boost agricultural sector and take deliberate steps to encourage cottage industries dotting the nation’s landscape.

He also said that the government should put machinery in place to pay workers a living wage to encourage productivity.

Other measures suggested by the labour leader is for the government “to provide incentives for struggling businesses in the organized private sector, get the publicly owned domestic refineries working to provide cheaper petroleum products, pursue the CNG alternatives, increase budget effectiveness, grow the domestic economy and purge itself of the growing number of corrupt public officials by ensuring that there is consequence for every act of the breach of public trust”.

Ajaero said that the nation is in dire straits, adding that it is only by the leadership exhibiting more patriotism and thinking more of the citizens that they can take the country out of the economic doldrums.

The NLC president urged the Federal Government to expedite the process for negotiating the new national minimum wage, which should reflect the real cost of living for Nigerian workers. 

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