Over the failure to create the three million new jobs they pledged in their campaign manifesto, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has berated President Muhammad Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, in Abuja yesterday, in his New Year message, asked Buhari to present his scorecard to Nigerians after spending 20 months in the saddle.
According to the labour chief, the APC government at the centre made a clear promise in its manifesto to deliver three million jobs yearly. After 20 months in the saddle, it is perhaps time to ask the government to give its scorecard to the Nigerian people that went through a lot of odds to elect this government.
He asked: “How many jobs has the Federal Government and the 23 states controlled by the ruling party created in the last 20 or so months, in furtherance of its pledge to Nigerians during the electioneering campaign?”
While lambasting the government for remaining deaf to ideas on how to generate jobs and take the economy out of the woods, it observed with regrets that even after declaration N500billion social intervention fund, there was still no government agency specifically assigned the role of job creation.
The NLC hinted that its negotiation for minimum wage would be radically different from the past, saying the calculation of the new wage would be based on a realistic foreign exchange and inflation rates.
Wabba noted: “Since we submitted a written request for a new national minimum wage of N52, 000 per month last year, the purchasing power of Nigerian workers had further depreciated that individuals on the existing minimum wage of N18, 000 were barely able to make ends meet in 30 days. At the beginning of 2016, with the Naira at N197 to $1, the minimum wage was equivalent of $91.3. At N495 to $1 this has in twelve month depreciated to $36.3.
He also cautioned government against granting another N309 billion bond to the electricity sector especially after the N213 billion granted in March 2015 did not translate into better power supply.
The labour chief also said the present administration was not doing enough to get the country out of economic recession. He maintained that nine months after the Federal Government organised an economic revival retreat, Nigerians were yet to see any concrete result and impact of government’s plans.