Abuja – The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Thursday frowned at the slow pace of the current administration in reviving the economy for the well-being of Nigerians.
TUC President Bobboi Kaigama said this at the 10th Triennial Delegates Conference of Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA).
The theme of the conference is “Infrastructural Deficit in Nigeria: The role of Construction Industry”.
Kaigama said that Nigerians had yet to benefit from the campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“There is urgent need for the current administration to revive the economy, provide security and food on the table of Nigerians.
“The change promised to Nigerians is not only about pursuing after officials with several allegations of corruption. It is about putting food on the table of Nigerians and securing their lives and property.
“President Buhari should know that the change mantra should not only be going after corrupt individuals.
“There is need for urgent steps to be taken to revive the economy, which has resulted in the massive retrenchment of workers in some parts of the country.
“More Nigerians will soon be thrown to the streets by their employers as a cost cutting measure, if nothing is done to revive and improve the economy.’’
He said the labour movement would support the Federal Government to fight corruption and ensure good governance in order to create decent jobs for workers.
On the debt construction companies, the TUC President urged the government ensure that all construction works follow due process and that payment is affected accordingly.
Kaigama also said that TUC and the Nigeria Labour Congress would synergise to fight casualisation in the construction industry.
“This is a sector where you have the highest number of casualisation. If there is any industry that has no respect for employees, it is the construction industry.
“This is need for the construction industry to abide by the rules and regulations of the International Labour Organisation as it concerns decent jobs for workers,’’ he added.
In his address, Mr Augustine Etafo, the outgoing National President of the association, expressed fear that the country’s current economic situation might force construction companies to further lay off staff due to financial constraints.
“The problem is that these workers are the ones that we had trained over the years and this is not a funny situation.
“We, in the construction industry, need a bailout from government as one of the leading employment providers in the country.
“We want to be bailed out of this present predicament by ensuring the payment of the money owed to contractors as a way out of the unemployment problems, ”he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Detlev Lubash, the Managing Director, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, said the industry was in dire straits, due to non-payment for ongoing and already completed jobs.
“As you all know, the construction industry is engaged by the Federal, State and Local Governments, with little patronage from corporate entities and private individuals.
“ In view of this, any distortion in the income equilibrium of our major clients will definitely affect the income and cash flow of the construction companies.
“lt, therefore, became imminent that there must be staff reduction as well as other cost saving measures,” he said.(NAN)