The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) lauded the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for the decision to employ 500,000 unemployed graduates as teachers next year which will curb the escalating rate of unemployment in the country.
However, TUC said it was still not comfortable with the position of the government on fuel subsidy removal and asked government to call a stakeholders meeting, which includes organized labour, to discuss why it has become impossible to refine and sell fuel for as low as N50/liter.
In a statement by the National President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and General Secretary, Musa Lawal, the TUC said it was also impressed by the decision of the government to ensure that all the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) are captured and brought under the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) are laudable ideas.
While commending the Federal Government for the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget announced last Tuesday, the TUC said it was worried that “our challenge as a country as regards national budget is not how to propose, draft or present a good budget but its implementation. We are also worried that about N1.8 trn of the budget will be borrowed to fund the budget”.
The statement added that “The decision to recruit 500,000 unemployed graduates and National Certificate of Education (NCE) holders as teachers to curb the escalating rate of unemployment and to ensure that all the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) are captured and brought under the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) are laudable ideas”.
According to the union, not only will the move reduce the burden of manual preparation of payrolls, it would also curb cases of sharp practices in the system as well as help to compile the list of the less-privileged in order to implement better transfer programme.
It, therefore, advised that the policy be made transparent and inclusive without discrimination.
“Additionally, we are still not comfortable with the decision of government on subsidy. The Congress therefore demand for a stakeholders’ meeting which include labour to discuss the subsidy issue and why it has become impossible for us to refine and purchase fuel for as low as N50 per litre. The price of crude oil in the international market had dropped drastically. This should have a direct effect on domestic consumption of the product.
“The proposed deficit financing at N2.22 trillion is certainly on the high side. This could be reduced by the recovery of stolen funds. We therefore support the government to use looted funds for the benefit of Nigerians.
“The budget is a good one as has addressed major issues that could change the life of a common man but implementation is our fear. We believe if the budget is properly implemented Nigeria is surely on the path to greatness again.
“We charge the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency warn the governors who want to sabotage the administration by saying they cannot pay ordinary N18,000 minimum wage. We dare them to try it”. [TUC]