The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has asked the federal government to see to the reduction in the prices of food and drugs for people who recovered from the dreaded coronavirus in Nigeria.
The President of the Congress, Comrade Quadri Olaleye, in a May Day message said 2020 workers day ‘is an unusual one. It coincides with a period the world is facing extinction if we are not carefully.”
Comrade Olaleye said the demand for the reduction of food and drugs was hinged on the fact that the last four months was traumatizing for the whole world and spared no race or colour.
“We advocate reduction of food and drug prices to enable Nigerians who survived the pandemic to recuperate well , because covid -19 pandemic met us in a state of unpreparedness”.
Speaking on possible loss of jobs, the TUC President said “We call on government to protect the workers from some uncharitable employers. Workers should not be made victims of convid-19”.
According to him, “Convid -19 has affected our lives in such a way that it is as if the country is starting life de nouveau. To this end, we must together- government, employers and workers to give all to rejig our economy to avoid the looming acute recession.”
Speaking on the theme: “60 Years of Nationhood: Insecurity, Wage Poverty and the Future of Work in Nigeria”, the union leader said “five months away from today our country will be 60 years and all the issues captured in our theme are critical and can define our political, economic and welfare trajectories as a people.
He therefore said the Congress concern, at the moment, however, is how Nigeria can survive COVID – 19 and build a political economy that will keep the country out of imminent recession.
The 2020 Workers Day massage reads, “Similarly, it has been brought to our knowledge that some employers are saying they cannot pay salaries for the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown. It is evil and inhuman to come up with such decision. . This is the time individuals and organizations should show that workers are partners in progress.
“COVID 19 has once again brought to realisation that any economy dependent on a sole commodity is incapable of taking that country out of the wood. Nigeria must take advantage of her natural and human resources now. Diversification and incentives from government are key to successful industrialisation.
“We call on government at all levels to exploit the potential of the agricultural sector. The Small and Medium Scale businesses (informal sector) should also be encouraged because of the critical role it plays in employment generation.
“The Congress advocates tax rebate of at least (3 months) to companies in Nigeria, especially the unionized ones. This will to help reflate the economy.
“We also recommend 2 months free electricity to SMEs generally and Nigerians in general. Again, we demand that the sector be made to work efficiently. If it will take a review of the privatization process to resolve the power question government should go ahead no matter whose ox is gord.”