From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity has tasked the Nigeria Labour to review its tactics in its quest to emancipate the Nigerian Worker.

The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje in a statement: ‘May Day 2004: A Clarion Call to the Nigeria Labour’ while commending the contributions and efforts of all Nigerian workers and their calls for a fair treatment, stated that presently, workers in Nigeria are facing one of the worst economic crises in their lifetimes.

Owoaje, who noted that the Nigerian worker is suffering due to the adoption of economic prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank by the President Bola Tinubu government, expressed disappointment that the Nigeria Labour has been distracted from its struggle for the workers.

“Disappointingly, Labour Unions which featured prominently in the fight for independence and were in the trenches in the struggle for democracy have since lost their voices. They can only recall the glorious days of vigorous labour activism in the face of the daunting challenges facing the Nigerian worker. Its umbrella body, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Trade Union of Nigeria, TUC have lost touch with the Nigerian people. The ideological underpinnings, robust scholarship and negotiation vibrancy which were once associated with them have since given way to hustling in several forms. NLC and TUC are often at loggerheads, abdicating the responsibilities to fight for Nigerian workers. In several states, the state chapters of NLC and TUC, and affiliates unions have become mere appendages of the state government, often singing praises of incompetent state governors and staging solidarity rallies for political interests while the common patrimony of the people is frittered away.’’

Owoaje therefore implored the Nigeria Labour led by the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to engage in self-retrospection and ‘’retrace their steps to regain their activism focus and redeem their image in the eyes of Nigerians’’.

He tasked NLC and TUC to close ranks and forge a united front to explore ways to engage and galvanise all Nigerian workers in the public and private sector to achieve success.

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Owoaje while pointing out that the clamour for higher wages is not bad, stressed however that the current hardship is not limited to the public sector but affecting all workers in Nigeria.

‘’All over the world, the public sector cannot by itself drive the economy to accelerate development, a thriving private-led economy is needed to build the desired economy which guarantees a conducive atmosphere for living, steady provision of jobs and economic prosperity for the people. This calls for a focused NLC and TUC to be at the forefront for the demand of an economy that can cater for the Nigerian worker, create jobs, accelerate industrialization and ultimately stimulate development.


‘’We expect the NLC and TUC to mobilise all workers and by extension Nigerians in the push for a genuine and sincere political movement to sensitise Nigerians on political participation, electing the right leadership to salvage Nigeria, and holding that leadership to account. This is the clarion call the Nigeria Labour must heed to save the Nigerian Worker.’’