The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) rose from its meeting in Lagos, Friday, where core labour issues were discussed and deliberated upon, expressing unalloyed support for government’s war on corruption.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting jointly signed by NLC President Comrade Ayuba Wabba, and General Secretary Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson noted that corruption has crippled the nation and accordingly requires a national action.
The NLC, in the communiqué, said that the $2.1 arms contract scandal underscores the extent of the rot in the system, saying the congress had resolved that those on the list of $2.1 billion scandal should apologize to Nigerians for their shameful act.
“In spite of the fact that corruption is fighting back, government should explore all lawful means to ensure that the looted funds are recovered and the culprits prosecuted in accordance with the law.
“Congress also resolved that government should beam its searchlight on other sectors of the economy such as road contracts etc. with a view to recovering every kobo not accounted,” NLC said.
The NLC also enjoined the state governments and local governments to join and demonstrate commitment to the anti- corruption war, even as it emphasized that corruption laws should be strengthened and corruption cases speedily dispensed with as is the case with election petition cases.
On the economy, the NLC blamed the current economy downturn on years of fiscal indiscipline, mismanagement of resources, unacceptable electioneering spending, policy reversals, unproductive borrowing, falling crude oil prices and serious issues of internal security.
The NLC said that the 2016 budget is commendable in view of the 30 percent of the budget allocated to capital projects and for making available funds for the recruitment of 500,000 graduates and NCE holders and for making a substantial percentage of the budget not dependent on oil revenue.
The government, NLC said, should take measures that will stimulate production, develop infrastructure and to diversify the economy with premium emphasis on agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing.
The NLC also decried the non-regular payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities by state governments, which it says is acquiring an alarming dimension.
“Congress is worried that governors are singling out workers for punishment in the circumstance of economic downturn while it is rewarding political appointees even when the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission has declared such payments as illegal.