As part of measures to create enabling environment for manufacturers across the country, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has urged the Federal Government to review its foreign exchange policy.
The union, in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, argued that the restriction placed on 42 items under the government’s foreign exchange policy may cause more damage to the country’s ailing industrial sector.
The communiqué, signed by TUC President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and General Secretary, Musa Lawal ,urged the government to urgently resolve the situation and make the policy flexible, adding that it is hampering genuine manufacturers’ access to raw materials.
The union also called on the Federal Government, to address all pending issues concerning collective bargaining agreement reached with workers.
On the alleged plans to privatise government hospitals, the union said the whole idea is against the general interest of Nigerians.
According to communique, the introduction of such a policy will remove healthcare services from the reach of the common man in Nigeria, adding that the government should improve the standard of the existing facilities rather than privatising them.
“We, however, call on the Federal Government to urgently address the issue of improving the standard of Healthcare”, the union added.
It also decried the seemly unhealthy industrial spirit of some employers, particularly the indiscriminate disengagement of workers for being members of trade unions, despite intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, adding that, government should ensure that it guards against anti-labour policies such as casualisation and resistance to unionisation of workers by some companies.
The union said: “The NEC-in-Session acknowledges the efforts of government in developing the power sector.
“However, we note that a lot still need to be done to improve the power situation in order to protect and stimulate industrial growth and development”.
It further noted the attempt to liquidate PHCN without settlement of all labour liabilities as contained in the agreement between representatives of Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Ministry of Power, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) and Secretary to the Government of the Federation on the one part and trade unions in the power sector.
“We strongly advise against that attempt, in the interest of industrial peace and harmony. We urge the Federal Government to henceforth ensure that all appointments are strictly guided by public service rules, scheme of service, establishment circulars, and Federal Civil Service Commission’s guidelines on appointment, promotion and discipline in the public service,” the workers stated in the communiqué.
TUC however lauded the current administration’s zero-tolerance stance on corruption and the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.
“In particular, the NEC enjoins the Federal Government to track all the looters of our commonwealth, including various sums of money involved in the latest arms scam. All the culprits must be duly prosecuted and looted funds recovered to the treasury.
“We, however condemn in serious terms the use of consultants for the collection of the accruing monies, and advocate that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should take over the process of TSA management.
“The NEC-in-Session condemns the statement of the Chairman of the Governors Forum that they can no longer pay the minimum wage, and that the minimum wage was forced on them when oil sold for $126 per barrel against the present price of $41 per barrel.