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Insecurity: Nigeria drifting into anarchy, Maritime Workers warn

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…as Labour vows to resist fuel pump hike

Abiola Seun

The President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has lamented the growing insecurity in the country, saying that the nation is gradually drifting towards anarchy.

Also, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has insisted that Nigerian workers will resist any attempt by the federal government to increase the price of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.

Speaking over the weekend at the 5th Quadrennial National Delegate Conference where he was re-elected for a second term following a unanimous decision by members of the union, Adeyanju called on the Federal Government to rejig the country’s security architecture with a view to curbing the incessant killings of innocent citizens, kidnapping and piracy among other vices before the situation spirals out of control.

He said, “It is no gain saying that the security architecture in the country has broken down. The incessant killings of innocent citizens, kidnapping, robberies, raping, piracy, brigandage and all other vices, which have been the order of the day, must be brought to a stop now.

“The federal government is hereby called upon to immediately rejig its security architecture with a view of curbing all these vices and save lives and properties and an urgent need to reverse this trend before it spirals out of control.”

Adeyanju asked the National Assembly to drop the attempt to remove the wages and salaries of workers from the exclusive legislative list to concurrent, saying it will be vehemently rejected.

He said, “We call on the national assembly to drop the attempt to remove wages/salaries from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list. We strongly stand by the NLC in its call for an abolishment of the process.”

However, the President of NLC, Com. Ayuba Wabba who condemned the planned increment says upwards increment will make life unbearable and difficult for Nigerians.

According to him, it is premature to put more burden on Nigerians especially at a time when unemployment and poverty rate are extremely high in the country.

He said, “We heard some states in the country are yet to start paying the N30,000 minimum wage while salary in some states are not regular. So, increment by government is like adding salt to injury by increasing the price of these two (fuel and electricity), very important commodities.

“As we have said clearly, Nigerians and NLC will continue to resist some of this imposition on us and i think this period is even more challenging because we are aware many people have lost their jobs, the unemployment statistics is extremely high, poverty level is something else.

He further stated that the union will not allow government to transfer her inefficiencies in refining crude locally on Nigerians who are already at breaking point due to the harsh economic situation in the country. He lashed out at the government for importing refined petroleum, saying Nigeria remains only OPEC country that import fuel in the world.

He said, “it is left for all of us to resist the price because this policies will have a negative effect on all Nigerians not only labour even you. It will have a negative effects but, we will provide the leadership as usual because we will try to resist it and resist it means all of us would have to be on our feet and resist some of those policies.

“We believe government policies need to add value to Nigerians and even reduced our burden and not actually increase them. Basically, as you are aware, we have continued to engage this issues for the past 20 years and during the last increment, we are the only organisation if you remember that stood and said this policy must not be a continuum.

“That is when they finish a circle another one will come because it means once the price goes up at the international market, gorvernment will increase pump price and it will get to a point that even you will not be able to ride a motorcycle in Nigeria.”

Wabba, who said the solution to the incessant increment in pump price is the fixing of Nigerian refineries, challeneged the federal government on the $1.5bn cost for rehabilitating the nation’s refinery.

“We support the idea of reviving the refineries but on the issue of the cost component, we are not competent to know what will be the cost hence, we won’t be able to argue the cost  but we urge government to be transparent in the process of putting those figures and the procedures before Nigerians so that Nigerians will be able to examine those figures whether they are figures that can revive the refineries.

“Labour is pro-fixing the refineries and the only argument is about the cost because some people said the cost is too high and basically we don’t have the breakdown that made up the cost of fixing the refineries.

” I think it is also good for government to put the facts before all of us, what are the components to be changed, what are the processes to be involved so that Nigerians can also know that it is a transparent process but in terms of the  principle, we support the principle of fixing the refineries but the issue is that we don’t have the details of the cost but we can demands from government to make the details available for all to see.

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