NLC scores Nigerian government low on democracy dividend

NLC President, abdulwaheed Omar

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Friday slammed the federal government, saying it has little or nothing to show as dividends of Democracy in more than 15 years since the military handed over power to civilians.

The Labour Movement in a communique at the end of its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting in Enugu reviewed developments in the polity and observed that despite more than 15 years of unbroken democracy in the country, the people have little dividends to show for it.

The Congress, in a communique signed by its President, Abdulwaheed Omar, and former acting General Secretary, Chris Uyot, said serial acts of impunity, abuse of human rights, harassment of media, disruption of peaceful protests, and diminishing job opportunities in the country during the period is proof of inadequacy.

The NLC urged the government to make democracy more benevolent and beneficial to the people and said government effort so far is inadequate to redress these problems on a permanent basis.

The Congress, however, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for improved performance in the conduct of elections in recent times, but cautioned against the over-militarization of election zones by the government during elections, as it could be counter-productive.

“The NEC-in-session called on the government to ensure that the 2015 general elections are free, fair, credible and acceptable,” the communiqué said.

It also noted the outbreak of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in the country and the subsequent panic, has continued to wreak on the people.

While commending government for the proactive measures taken so far to contain the spread of the disease, the NLC urged it to do all that is necessary to secure the entire populace from the activities of armed insurgent groups.

It equally wanted government to create the utmost work-place safety for the exposed Health Care personnel battling to help control the spread of the dreaded EVD.

“The NEC-in-session resolved to get all employers of Labour to maintain a group life assurance policy for their employees with a minimum benefit of three times total emolument in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2014, Section 4 (5).

“The session noted with concern the delay by government in implementing the 33.3 per cent increase in pension payment approved by stakeholders and vowed to secure its implementation as soon as possible,” the NLC said.

It frowned at attempts by some officials of the Ministry of Labour to fragment industrial unions in the country by creating false and illegal divisions, saying it would not tolerate any unnecessary court controversy over the issue.

The NLC executive council expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in the country, especially in the North East where insurgent groups continue to pillage the land, attack and kill innocent citizens.

It also noted the situation in the South-South region where crude oil theft by criminal elements has continued unabated, leaving the economy prostrate.

Accordingly, the NLC urged the government not to relent in its effort at securing the nation, particularly with the up-coming general elections in 2015.

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