Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday stormed the National Assembly complex to protest the rising cost of living in the country, even as they demanded for a better remuneration for workers.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, who spoke on behalf of the groups, said they were protesting the delay in the upward review of national minimum wage amidst increasing cost of essential commodities in the country.
The labour unions also demanded that the Senate should, as a matter of urgency, confirm the nomination of the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
“We are here to demand for good governance and express our support in the fight against corruption. More importantly, we demand for respect for rule of law, greater accountability and transparency in governance”, Wabba added.
Expressing worry that Nigerian workers have been the major victims of the fallout of corruption and bad governance in the country, he said, “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”.
The NLC president further expressed concern that in spite of the bailout funds granted to states of the federation by the federal government to offset workers’ salaries, “the living condition of workers have not been improved because many are not paid”.
Responding, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said it was time to go into action towards addressing the numerous challenges confronting the nation.
“It can’t continue this way, the exchange rate is high, cost of things in the market has gone high but only the workers’ salaries remain the same. By the next time we will meet, I will tell you what the National Assembly has done to improve the living condition of Nigerians”, Saraki said.