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Borrowing Foreign Currency to Support Naira Devaluation Shortsighted Approach — NLC Slams Tinubu

Posted by Thandiubani on Wed 01st May, 2024 - tori.ng

NLC President, Joe Ajaero said that borrowing foreign currency to support the Naira was a short-sighted solution to the economic issues facing the country.

 
The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have condemned the government of President Bola Tinubu for borrowing foreign currency to support the Naira.
 
Speaking on Wednesday, the two groups said the federal government made a mistake by floating the naira leading to significant devaluation of the currency and inflation.
 
NLC President, Joe Ajaero argued that the policy is a short-sighted solution that may worsen the country’s economic situation.
 
At the May Day festivities in Abuja, the Labour movement said the dominance of international financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank in shaping policies undermines national interests and perpetuates dependency.
 
Ajaero lamented that businesses are shutting down, with significant losses incurred due to government policies. Nigeria’s economy has slipped to the 4th largest in Africa while others with similar contexts thrive due to better leadership and policies.
 
He said a select few benefit while the masses suffer and that petrol price hikes enrich the elite while the devaluation of the Naira further impoverishes the majority.
 
His words, “Our nation faces escalating poverty, dwindling opportunities, and widespread disillusionment. Genuine businesses struggle, unemployment soars and the government remains indifferent.
 
“However, there’s hope if the government re-evaluates its policies, prioritizes the welfare of its people, and supports local industries.
 
“We demand an end to disastrous policies like excessive borrowing and corruption. We need transparency in governance and accountability for public funds.
 
“Bold leadership is required to steer our nation towards recovery. President Tinubu has the chance to lead us towards a brighter future by putting the interests of Nigerians first.
 
“Let us act now to build a more equitable and prosperous Nigeria for all, ensuring a future free from deprivation and despair. Together, we can forge a path towards a brighter tomorrow for every citizen”.
 
On the energy crisis currently plaguing the country, the two labour centres decried what they termed as an uninspiring approach to managing our energy resources, warning that it spells doom for any nation.
 
They stated that the country is being crippled by this very incompetence and selfishness, leaving citizens and the economy vulnerable.
 
Labour also insisted that power, regardless of its origin, fuels economic growth. Oil and Gas are lifelines for energy success worldwide. It’s imperative for the government to collaborate with the people to ensure energy benefits all Nigerians, not just a privileged few.
 
On the fuel crisis, the TUC President, Festus Osifo, said Labour demands prompt action on our refineries, saying promises remain unfulfilled, while operational ones in the private sector fail to ease the people’s suffering. There is suspicion of sabotage to profit from importing, at the expense of our economy. The recent refinery agreement lacks transparency, echoing past exploitation in other sectors.
 
“Claims of trillions spent on PMS subsidies baffle us. We demand clarity from the government on who benefits and who consumes the 40 million litres of projected daily consumption
 
“The power sector’s plight persists a decade after privatization. Conflict of interest hampers progress, and higher tariffs for nonexistent electricity are unjust. We reject unilateral and illegal tariff hikes and demand adherence to due process.
 
“A 300% tariff hike would devastate domestic manufacturers. Consumer classification perpetuates inequality, akin to apartheid, endangering field workers’ lives.
 
“Reassessing privatization is crucial for progress. Despite billions invested, grid collapses persist, and generation remains stagnant. Tanzania’s recent action underscores the need for change. The government must reclaim control and account for revenue from its stake.
 
“We commend states pursuing independent power generation and urge swift action to break monopolies and empower consumers nationwide. Let us unite to ensure energy serves all Nigerians, driving our nation’s prosperity.
 
“The NLC and TUC hereby advise NERC and Power sector operators to reverse the last increase in electricity tariff within the next one week,” Labour noted.
 


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