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May Day: NLC, TUC Criticize Living Conditions Under Tinubu’s Leadership

According to statements from NLC's Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, and TUC President Festus Osifo, Nigerians and workers are struggling with economic challenges such as high inflation, foreign exchange crises, food inflation, and energy shortages.

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As Nigeria observed International Workers’ Day, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) voiced concerns over the hardships faced by Nigerians under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

According to statements from NLC’s Head of Information and Public Affairs, Benson Upah, and TUC President Festus Osifo, Nigerians and workers are struggling with economic challenges such as high inflation, foreign exchange crises, food inflation, and energy shortages.

Upah noted a significant deterioration in living conditions under Tinubu’s leadership, citing policies like fuel subsidy removal, foreign exchange instability, and electricity tariff hikes as exacerbating economic burdens.

The NLC spokesperson called on President Tinubu to reconsider these policies to improve the lives of Nigerian workers.

“Life has worsened considerably. In fact, the most painful aspect of it is that there is no silver lining in the sky yet. When workers were trying to get used to this ugly situation, the government slammed them with a new energy tariff of 250 per cent, and on the other side, for the workers, nothing has changed.

“So, life has been very terrible for workers in the past year. We wish it could be better.

“To go to specifics: the ill-advised removal of fuel subsidy, the floating of the Naira, and the hike in the tariff of electricity; these three major policies have considerably reduced the value of the Naira.

“Inflation at the moment is 33.2 per cent, and food inflation is a minimum of 40 per cent. The devaluation of the Naira. After these policy announcements. The value of the Naira decreased by about 200 per cent, and after a while, Nigerians started hoping that the Naira would regain its strength and stability. There were other storms.

“Ou we suspect that these policies are dictated from outside this country, and they are not good for the health of this country or for the people of this country, and we advise Mr President to retrace his steps.

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“Our message is that workers should not be broken; they should remain strong and be guided by the philosophy of the bedbug that this hot water that they are pouring on us will one day grow cold,” the NLC said.

Meanwhile, the President of the TUC, Osifo, has called on the federal and state governments to prioritise workers’ welfare.

Osifo, who spoke at the Pre-May Day Lecture held in Abuja on Wednesday, said there is a need to put the welfare and interest of the people first in driving any government policy.

Represented at the event by the Deputy President of TUC, Comrade Eitm Okon, Osifo said the theme of the 2024 May Day celebration, which is titled: “Workers First”, is very significant because there is a need to put the people first and to put the workers first in every government policy.

“Today marks another turning point in the history of the trade union movement in this country.

“When we look at the theme of the 2024 Worker’sayWorker’s celebration, which is People First, that is very significant because we need to put the people first, we need to put the workers first, and when you put the people first, you put your family first. This is what is called the first line charge.

“Today, we have experienced various policy mismatches and summersaults where people’s welfare is put at the bottom of the radar.

“A case in point was the increase in electricity tariff without following due process and without consultation with various stakeholders who would have been involved in taking critical decisions that affect the lives of workers,” he lamented.

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