NLC to Akume: Those padding budgets, looting treasury guilty of treason — not us

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says the organised labour did not commit treason as its demands for a better wage are clear and just.

 

The NLC was reacting to comments by George Akume, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), who had said the labour committed treason by shutting the national grid.

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The labour groups had proposed N615,500 and then N494,000 as the new national minimum wage, which the federal government said was unrealistic.

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It then embarked on an indefinite strike on Monday, but called it off on Tuesday to pave the way for further negotiations with the government.

During the strike, workers had shut down the grid and withdrew their services from the airports among other actions.

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In a statement on Friday, Benson Upah, NLC’s head of public affairs, said those looting the treasury and padding the budgets are guilty of sabotaging the economy.

 

“These demands are grounded in the need for economic justice and fairness for all Nigerian workers and citizens. The SGF we are sure clearly knows those whose actions are treasonable and sabotage our economy,” Upah said.

“Those who loot our treasury around the country, those who divert public resources meant for hospitals and schools; those who are involved in foreign exchange round tripping; padding of budgets and inflating contracts including those who steal trillions of naira in the name of subsidy are the real economic saboteurs who commit treasonable felony.

 

“These people are in costly Agbada and drive in convoys all around the nation occupying the corridors of power and not innocent workers who are not slaves but chose to withdraw their services because of the inhuman treatment meted on them by the government.

 

“We reject completely the unfortunate insinuations around the SGF’s remarks because strikes are not only legal but also a civic duty.

 

“We are surprised that the SGF will demonstrate such a glaring sense of unawareness to the understanding of the fact that when workers withdraw their services which is their right, machines cannot operate themselves so, they grind to a halt.”

Upah said labour would “not surrender the trust and confidence Nigerian workers and people have bestowed on us to blackmail by the SGF or any other official”.

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