The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has urged Nigerian leaders to change the narratives and the dynamics of the economy by providing a friendly business environment.
The union also scored the government low on governance highlighting oil spillage, gas flaring, dearth of infrastructure and the high price of food among other indices of poor governance.
The trade union made their views known in a statement signed by their president, Quadri Olaleye and Secretary-General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, to celebrate the nation’s 61st independence anniversary.
The statement read, “No country is truly independent until it is industrialised and able to produce most of what it consumes. The naira loses its value because Nigeria is a consuming nation.
“The Federal Government must as a matter of urgency create an enabling environment that would deepen light and heavy manufacturing companies. To actively participate in African Continental Free Trade Area, the government must change the narrative as it lacks the basic infrastructure required for industrialisation and economic development agreement.”
The labour union stated that the Federal government had to stop taking more loans.”
It further stated that “Nigeria should not borrow for recurrent expenditure instead of investing in industries and infrastructure. As it stands, according to an analyst, with the country’s recent debt profile at over N33tn every Nigerian, including children, is owing over N160, 000.
“The power sector challenge is still there after almost a decade of privatisation. Sadly, the Federal Government has continued to release the money to the new owners. The question now is, why was it privatised in the first place?”
The union also berated the country on medical tourism and lack of forex for companies to import raw materials.
“Overall, 8,737 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in the UK. What is now the fate of those who cannot afford to travel abroad for medicare or send their children to study abroad like the politicians?
“We have recorded some successes in the banking sector following some reforms, but the Central Bank of Nigeria and other regulators must do more to end the unreasonable charges and other fraudulent practices in the sector.
“In July 2021, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, and Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, at different forums revealed that Nigeria spends N150bn monthly on fuel subsidy. We wonder why they still pay for Turn Around Maintenance.”
The union, while stating that the trouble with Nigeria had been due to not having the opportunity to choose their leaders, it noted that the country could still find its feet, at 61, if the right leaders were ready to ride on equity, fairness and justice.