Recession: NLC warns Buhari not to sell national assets, suggests alternative measures

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has rebuffed the planned sale of national assets by the Federal Government to reflate the country’s economy.

This assertion was made by the union’s president, Ayuba Wabba at a press conference which took place at the Labour House, Abuja earlier today.

His words: “while it is important to rescue our country from the current economy tie of recession, sale of our common wealth and strategic assets is not a move in the right direction… We therefore, reinstate our position that we are opposed to the sale of those strategic assets in whatever guise.”

He equated the move to that of the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) of 1984 which brought Nigeria’s economy to its lowest ebb rather than its intended purpose of bringing succor to the ailing economy at the time.

SAP came at a time when Nigeria was in political turmoil fueled by the biting economic hardship that hit most families. The then military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida took International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan with hope of using the loan to bring the country’s economy back on track.

He implemented the conditions that came with the loan such as devaluation of naira, privatization of public institutions, and removal of subsidies among others. This led to many unpleasant consequences such as workers losing their jobs through retrenchment, many people not being able to afford most of the necessities of life due to wage cuts and withdrawal of subsidies, skyrocketing inflationary situation occasioned by currency devaluation and high rates of unemployment.

The union advised the Federal Government to instead tread alternative measures like ensuring tax justice, checkmating and readjusting the fiscal and monetary policy, blocking leakages in the system and using the recovered loots to drive the economy by plunging resources into the manufacturing sector and building of critical infrastructures.

In a related development, the union has setup a Think-Tank Committee to research and publish findings occasionally on alternative solution to the socio-economic problems facing the country. The committee is a joint effort of NLC and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

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