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Nigeria heating up as NLC, TUC protest economic hardship, new minimum wage

Analysts have started placing the spate of protests since Monday this week to Thursday; side-by-side with Arab uprising that swept across African Arab nations few years ago which led to the ouster or imprisonment of some presidents.

On Monday, youths took to the streets in some major cities clamouring for better deals from the government due to dwindling fortunes.

Only yesterday, the duo of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) lead by their presidents, took again to the streets of Lagos chanting slogans indicating frustrations and hardship on Nigerians due to what they described as government’s insensitivity to the plights of Nigerians.

NLC and the TUC also staged a protest at the National Assembly complex, Abuja over the rising cost of living in Nigeria and the NLC Chairman, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said that the groups were protesting the delay in the upward review of minimum wage amidst increasing the cost of items in the country.

According to him, “We are here to demand good governance and express our support in the fight against corruption.

“More importantly, we demand respect for rule of law, greater accountability and transparency in governance,’’ Wabba said.

He expressed worry that Nigerian workers had been the major victims of the fall-out of corruption and bad governance.

“Today the dollar rate is N500 to one dollar and the salaries of Nigerian workers have remained the same. Therefore, we are here to urge the National Assembly to play an important role to ensure that life is made better for Nigerians.

“We cannot succeed if the fight against corruption does not succeed. We appreciate the efforts by the National Assembly to ensure financial autonomy for the local governments and this must be sustained because money meant for the local governments does not get there.

On his part, the TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama said that the inflation rate in the country was growing astronomically, noting that it was time for governments at all tiers to go back to the drawing board to revive the country’s economy.

He said “Whatever it takes, we must review the structure of our economy. If we must have to kill corruption, the laws have to come from the National Assembly.

He submitted that “Nigerians are hungry, the cost of living is high, no houses, no light and factories have gone comatose”

In response, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said it was time to go into action towards addressing the numerous challenges confronting Nigerians, stressing “It can’t continue this way, the exchange rate is high, cost of things in the market have gone high but only the workers’ salaries remain the same”.

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