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TUC 10-Point Agenda: Government Has the Revenue But Stopped Paying N35,000 Wage Award After First Month, Osifo Says

“Our responsibility is to hold them accountable to be sure and certain that every statement in that agreement as agreed with them must be implemented.”

The President of the Trade Union Congress, Festus Osifo, has said that the Nigerian government has the financial means available to meet the demands of the trade union, but they, however, lack the will to “actually do what is right.”

The TUC President made this statement in an interview with ARISE NEWS PRIMETIME on Monday night, where he also claimed that the government has stopped the promised 6-month wage award payment after the first payment was made.

While Osifo was questioned if economic reasons could be the reason for the government not keeping up with payment agreements, he said, “If you’ve signed an agreement and you’re finding it difficult to implement, what you do normally is for you to call the other party, and you sit down together. But we don’t even think that is the challenge, we don’t think that is the problem.

“Because today, you could see from the federation account how much they share every month, it has doubled compared to the figures that they were sharing or the amount of money that they were sharing as at April/May. Today, they share trillions of naira, that shows that even if the value of this money has plummeted, even if the value has gone down, but the physical note is there, the volume has actually gone up.

“So, they could actually take care of this. It is not because they don’t have revenue, but it is the will for them to actually do what is right. You know very well, that as at when this government came in, the exchange rate was somewhere around N450 to a dollar. But today, officially, it is over N900, which is times two. That has actually made the government to be earning more money.”

Osifo then pointed out the issue that the government had not notarised the 10-point agenda that the TUC had presented to them, which was eventually agreed with, saying, “The last point in that agreement that we reached as at then contained the fact that it will be a consent judgement, but up till now, to the best information available to us, that has not been done. As at today, it’s not been placed before the court of law for it to be adopted as a consent judgement.

“But even beyond that, there are some provisions in that agreement that we felt that government, they have not implemented to the latter.”

He gave an example of this using the N35,000 wage award, as he said that the funds were paid for just one month and ceased afterwards.

He further said, “It is left for government to tell us the reason why they have not taken that document to court, it’s left for them. But for us, our responsibility is to hold them accountable to be sure and certain that every statement in that agreement as agreed with them must be implemented.”

Osifo then said that the demands that the TUC listed in the 10-point agenda came about as they considered the suffering of the average Nigerian because of high rising prices due to inflation, the removal of fuel subsidy, and other economic challenges. He stated, “It was based on this that the government came up with this 10-point agenda, because we feel that if government is sincere enough to implement these and put frameworks in place to address all these, the life of an average Nigerian will be better.”

“This government must sit down, buckle its belt and address the issues that are affecting Nigerians, ” he said.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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