The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has boldly said that selling the country’s national asset is not an alternative option to addressing its present economic challenges.
The President of the Union, Ayuba Wabba, stated this while inaugurating the NLC-ASUU “Think-Tank Group,” on Monday in Abuja.
The group, he said was expected to dialogue with the Federal Government on ways of addressing the country’s current economic challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NLC-ASUU think-tank group comprised a ten-member committee drawn from the different sectors of the economy.
The group is expected to represent the interest of Nigerians and come up with developmental agenda.
The members of the committee include Omotoye Olorode, Dipo Fashina, Muhammed Aliyu, Muttaka Usman, Isacc Nwaogwugwu, Yemi Bangbose and Isa Aremu.
Others members are Sonny Atumah, Peter Ozo-Eson and Hauwa Mustapha. Mr. Wabba said the committee was specifically inaugurated to intellectually engage the Federal Government on issues of national importance.
“We have three ways of engaging government, the intellectual way, the NLC way which is protest, and we have lawyers that are ready to engage government.
“We are ready to follow through with all the three ways.’’ He, however, called on Nigerians to protect the nation’s asset by saying no to the sale of the country’s national assets as was being proposed by some individuals.
According to him, the nation’s national asset is all it has for the future generation. He urged the government to rather ensure the implementation of tax justice in the country.
This, he said, would prompt the generation of funds for the development of the economy, adding that tax evasion and tax waivers should be discouraged.
“It is only the poor and the working class that pay tax in this country, but if the high and mighty pay tax then we will have more than enough to go round.’’
The NLC chairman urged the Federal Government to look into the country’s fiscal and monetary policy as well as take stock of the country’s asset.
He maintained that foreign exchange rate had not only added to the problem facing the country, but had also made few Nigerians wealthy.
He, therefore, advised government to use available resources to drive economic development by embarking on projects such as building of roads and other infrastructure rather than investing in foreign trips.
Mr. Wabba added that there was also the need for government to block all forms of financial leakages, especially in the downstream sector. Responding on behalf of other members, Mr. Olorode, a professor, thanked the NLC leadership for inaugurating the committee.
He said the committee was a way to enthrone the desired change, adding that it was poised to realising its objective.