The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has vehemently kicked against the Federal Government’s plan to pay the sum of twenty thousand naira, (N20,000), to the unemployed youths, for a period of three months, to maintain public and social infrastructures in the country.
TUC in a statement issued and jointly signed by its President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye and General Secretary, Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said as far as the Congress is concerned this is another conduit pipe for politicians and their foot -soldiers.
“There is mindless looting of the nation’s treasury going on and the federal government appears to pat perpetrators at the back. At first it was N5, 000 for the poorest of poor, now it is N20, 000 for the unemployed youth. We are going to protest against that, not because it is a bad idea but because we saw how the palliatives they distributed went. They have never been sincere and this will not be an exception.
“Recall that their “school feeding” program is on. It should beat the imagination of every sane and right thinking person why a sagging economy like ours should be feeding children that are under the care of their parents during the lockdown. What stops the federal government from adding a certain percentage of workers salary to the take home of workers so parents can feed their children well? What stops government from giving out soft loans to operators in the informal sector or even stop local governments from collecting tax from them?”
“Nigerians were happy when the news came that government was working with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) management to ensure Nigerians did not pay electricity bill for the almost two months they were at home. Unfortunately the bills served Nigerians were the highest ever. Shops did not open for business yet they were served their estimated billing. Former Minister, Omobola Olubusola Johnson protested her bill and Ikeja Electric Distribution Company (IKEDC) officially apologised to her. What then happens to the ordinary people (the commoners) who have no voice?
“As a body we commend the president in his effort to bring succour to the unemployed. That was quite thoughtful of him. However, payment of N20, 000 to 1,000 unemployed persons per local government area for a period of three months does not in any way solve our unemployment challenge. To the glory of God this administration still has three good years. The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) is of the opinion that the president and his economic team use that money to build factories in the whole 774 Local government areas in the country.
“Let the government do a feasibility study on the local governments and invest accordingly. The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina stated without ambiguity recently that until Africa starts adding value to their natural resources they will not come out of the shackle of underdevelopment and poverty. Of a truth, less than 50 percent of the fruits produced in Benue do not get to the market. They rot away. Government can build a factory that will produce fresh juice for Nigerians to drink.
“We can go on but we believe we have listed few things government can do to give the unemployed hope and sense of belonging. Enough of the scam. The president may have a good intention but experiences have shown that those who handle the task are irresponsible, selfish, insensitive and lack milk of human kindness in them.” The statement said.