Stop Taking More Loans – TUC Tells Buhari
The Trade Union Congress, TUC, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop taking more Loans.
TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo who made known in a new year message, noted that future generations of Nigerians may be enslaved in a debt peonage, if outgoing Buhari administration is not stopped.
He said as at June 2022, a figure released by
the Federal Government’s Debt Management Office showed total Public Debt Stock of the country stood at N42.84 trillion ($103.31bn) and external debt at $40.06 billion.
He said the out-going Buhari administration which has in the main, incurred these debts part of which was used in building “an economically unviable railway to a neighboring country while internally, the country is in need of railways”, must be stopped from obtaining further loans.
TUC President said; “year 2022 was quite challenging in virtually all fronts including security, politics, economy, health and social life, but there is hope for a glorious 2023 if we are ready to birth the necessary change and hold our leaders accountable as the Nigeria we earnestly desire can only be achieved through collective struggle.
The TUC boss enumerate some other key issues that are agitating the mind of Nigerian workers and the need for government to act decisively, which includes; insecurity, corruption, oil theft among others.
He said; ” The war against banditry, terrorism and sectarian violence must be total and uncompromising. There should also be a general mobilization of the populace in this war that must be won for our country to survive. We warn against attempts in some quarters to rebrand criminals and terrorist as freedom fighters or treat them with kid gloves.
“TUC fully endorses the acceleration towards a cashless economy, we condemn the inability of the banking system to run a seamless electronic banking platforms. This has led to huge loss of money by customers whose transfers are not effected even when they are debited and whose withdrawals at the Automated Teller Machine, (ATM) are not perfected. Heavy fines on banks in favour of the customers will go a long way in bringing sanity to the system.
“TUC rejects the clamour by some politicians and political office holders to continue the importation of petroleum products at prohibitive costs while simultaneously, campaigning and making moves to stop fuel subsidy. Politicians who love Nigerians would first return the country to local refining thereby creating mass jobs and making the products cheap, accessible and available before contemplating removal of fuel subsidy.
“Irrespective of the nomenclature given or the deceptive garb of efficiency, our experience as a people, show that privatization is the mere transfer of public wealth into private hands. The example of the electricity sector, clearly indicates also that the private sector can be even less efficient than the public sector. Therefore, we not only demand the review of the entire privatisation exercise and a transparent accountability of its proceeds, but also call for the reversal of privatized entities where, like the electricity sector, the new ‘owners’ have failed abysmally, or merely engaged in asset-stripping. Anybody or group pushing for further privatisation of our national assets do not mean well for Nigeria.
“We also demand that the Buhari government ensures that PMS is available and sold at the official pump price in fuel stations. The emergent culture of selling such highly inflammable commodity in jerry cans in street corners and residential houses, must be stopped.
“No country develops more than her education system. Unfortunately, at all levels – primary, secondary and tertiary, the sector is ailing. The eight months strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in 2022 was caused by the frequent breaches of Collective Agreements by the Federal Government. ASUU’s demands centered on the welfare of teachers, better work environment and the basic funding of the system. The education system has become so chaotic that on the average, a four-year programme now takes six or seven years”, TUC said.