Ajaero slams Tinubu's speech as unrealistic

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joseph Ajaero, strongly criticized the promises and assurances made by President Bola Tinubu in his Monday broadcast. According to Ajaero, these promises seemed to be out of touch with the harsh reality faced by Nigerians and failed to address the pressing issues affecting the nation.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joseph Ajaero, strongly criticized the promises and assurances made by President Bola Tinubu in his Monday broadcast
NLC President, Joseph Ajaero

In his statement, Ajaero expressed his disappointment in the claims of interventions by the Federal Government, such as providing palliatives, CNG buses, loans, and conditional grants to poor Nigerians.

He labeled these promises as nothing more than empty rhetoric, lacking any substantive plans or actions to effect meaningful changes in the lives of Nigerian citizens.

One of the key points of contention raised by the NLC President was Tinubu's omission of a comprehensive plan to revive the nation's public refineries, which have remained inactive for an extended period.

The inactivity of these refineries has been a major pain point in the entire subsidy narrative, exacerbating the country's economic challenges.

Furthermore, Ajaero questioned Tinubu's failure to expose those responsible for the looting of Nigeria's commonwealth under the guise of petrol subsidy.

He emphasized that it is unacceptable for the President and Commander-in-Chief to merely lament the actions of these economic saboteurs without taking concrete steps to bring them to justice and recover the stolen funds.

The NLC President also highlighted the lack of progress in negotiating with organized labor regarding the national minimum wage. Despite promises of working with labor unions to review the minimum wage, the government has not demonstrated a firm commitment to the negotiations.

Ajaero stated that the sub-committee on wage award had not been inaugurated nor met, leaving organized labor to negotiate with empty chairs on the Federal Government's side.

Ajaero pointed out the stark contrast between how the private sector rapidly distributed salary awards to its employees and the government's neglect in doing the same for public workers.

This discrepancy in treatment further demonstrated the government's failure to live up to the standards it expected others to meet.

Also, Ajaero raised concerns about the timeline for reviewing the national minimum wage. He highlighted that the review, which is a matter of law, is only expected to happen in 2024.

This raises questions about how Nigerian workers would cope with the current reality of hyperinflation and suffering caused by the hasty removal of the petrol subsidy until the wage review takes place.

The labor leader also pointed out that the main players in the current administration, including Tinubu himself, were well aware in 2012 of the need to address the fundamental problems underlying the petrol subsidy. Yet, these crucial topics were conspicuously absent from the President's speech.

In light of these issues, the NLC expressed its determination to align discussions with the administration with the current hardships faced by Nigerians.

Ajaero asserted that until the government shows genuine commitment to improving the lives of Nigerians and alleviating the suffering of workers and ordinary citizens, the NLC remains committed to continuing its struggle.

The statement from the NLC indicates the growing discontent and frustration among Nigerians regarding the current economic situation and the government's response to it.

The labor union's call for concrete actions, transparency, and accountability reflects the urgent need for effective governance and solutions to address the nation's challenges.

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