Protest: Address hunger, economic hardship now, NLC urges FG 

BRANDPOWER reports that Ajaero presented a letter containing 17 point demands of the Congress.

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Protest, Address hunger, economic hardship, NLC, FG, Government 
NLC Protest Tuesday

The Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal Government to immediately address hunger and economic hardship in the country.

Mr Joe Ajaero, NLC President said this when addressing workers during a peaceful protest from its headquarters to the National Assembly on Tuesday in Abuja.

War Against Hunger: A call for collective action

The protesting workers carried placards with inscriptions such as :”End hunger and poverty’, “Reject IMF/World Bank policies’,”End Naira devaluation, support local production”.

“Stop the profligacy in government, subsidise the poor’, “Fix local refineries, end subsidy’, ” Remove tax on drugs, our health matters, among others.

It would be recalled that on Feb. 16, NLC at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting had declared a two-day nationwide protest from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, over the worsening economic hardship and insecurity in the country.

It would also be recalled that the Department of State Services (DSS) had warned the NLC not to embarked on the planned protest gor the fear that it would be hijacked unscrupulous elements.

According to Ajaero, we are here for a peaceful protest. We are here to tell the Federal Government that Nigerians are hungry.

“The protest is to make Mr President to know how Nigerians feels, we know where it is pinching us.

“We are also here to register our complaints before Nigerians, the level of suffering and hunger in the land.

“We are here to call on the federal government to immediately address the issue of hunger in the country.

“There is nobody that does not know that bag of rice is over N70, 000 or more, we can not even buy indomi, even bread is out of reach and with N30, 000 minimum wage, if you eat a loaf of bread everyday, you will be spending over N40,000,”he said.

He expressed worried over why the government keeps reneging on most of the palliatives it promised to provide to ameliorate the pain of workers, since the removal of fuel subsidy on May 29th, 2023.

Ajaero said that the primary purpose of governance had always been the welfare and security of the citizens.

He said government must rise up to its responsibility of implementing the welfare provisions as contained in Chapter Two of the Constitution of-the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

He added that, among the key welfare provisions is the generation of employment opportunities for citizens through massive investment in agriculture and value-added manufacturing.

The NLC president noted that to address issues of hunger government should immediately provide subsidies to farmers to boost agricultural production and food security.

Ajaero however, urged the government to open all food storage silos and enforce equitable distribution across the country.

He also said efforts must be geared towards fixing of abandoned factories and revival of our local production and patronage of Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

He noted that the fixing of the four refineries have become germane and a matter of urgent national priority.

He added that electricity and water should be made available, affordable and accessible to all citizens, owing to the dire situation in the country.

According to Ajaero, we want government to invest massively in road-rail infrastructure and social housing.

“There is urgent need for deployment of cheap mass transportation, buses powered by CNG to ease the crisis of transportation for the poor people.

“Government must put an end to further privatisation and liberalization of the economy and take control of the commanding heights of the economy.in line with the Nigerian Constitution.

“Go after the oil subsidy cabal and other economic saboteurs instead of helpless Nigerians, put a stop to all dollarization of the Nigerian economy.

“They must also put a stop to wasteful spending and profligacy in government; proper and adequate funding of education and health care at all levels, among others of our demands,”he said.

BRANDPOWER reports that Ajaero presented a letter containing 17 point demands of the Congress.

Receiving the letter, Sen. Diket Plang, Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity commended workers for the peaceful protest.

Plang also said that the NASS would do its best to ensure the quick passage of the minimum wage when implemented and the demands from the NLC would be looked into.