As the strike in the education sector continue to hit hard on Nigerians, The Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) yesterday said it would embark on a one-day nationwide protest within weeks to compel the Federal Government to resolve issues with the unions in the education sector.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba who dropped the hint at the opening of the Congress’ Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Thursday in Abuja, expressed worry over the continued closure of the country’s tertiary institutions due to unresolved labour dispute between the Federal government and unions in the education sector.
According to Wabba, “you will recall that in the last decision we took and even to the extent of writing to Mr President, we gave a 21-day notice for them to converge a very high powered meeting.
“We demanded that the meeting should be chaired either by the Secretary of Government of the Federation (SGF) or the Chief of Staff to the President, for this issue to be resolved once and for all.
“That meeting was called, but from the reports that I have been receiving from all the unions in the education sector, we have found out that progress has not been made.
“The timeline of three weeks that was given to that committees for all reports to be turned in and for government to be able to make decision, that has not taken place, ’’he added.
The NLC president however, alleged that there was reluctance by the Federal Government in addressing the issues.
He said: “Therefore, Central Working Committee has decided that there will be a one day national protest.
“This is to call the attention of government to resolve the issue immediately.
“We have also asked all our affiliates by the next one week to issue statements,” he said.
He said the decision to embark on the one-day national protest was imperative as children of the poor have continued to remain at home.
He also said that CWC had observed that there was increase in terms of social vices, that would be traced to the fact that those children had been at home for months and many problems had been made.
Wabba however, also condemned the lingering scarcity of fuel and the long queues across the country.
According to him, “it is pathetic that Nigeria has not availed itself of the rich endowment of oil resource by continuing to depend on imported petroleum products for local consumption”.
Wabba said that the situation has brought about dire consequences on productivity, economy and wellbeing of the citizens.
“For instance, diesel is now selling at more than N800 per liter. It is unfortunate that Nigeria despite being a major oil producing country has continued to fail to refine her own crude oil.
“The result of this, is the net total of 100 per cent importation of refine petroleum product are brought into Nigeria.
“The consequence is the heavy hemorrhage of our national coffers especially given our most important challenged which has also brought about the long queues in almost all the filling stations, ’’he said.
He also noted that the situation had affected the purchasing power of many Nigerians and had brought hardship on many business to a halt due to many business were been run on generator.
Wabba added that the only way out of this issue is to end the discussion whether there is subsidy or not but for us to refine product for domestic use.
He further condemned the recent sack of over 3000 teachers by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.