The Organised Labour has blamed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the corruption and monetization of the nation’s polity and democratic process.
Leaders of the Textiles Workers Union have said that Nigerians must brace up to support the emergence of a more democratic and people-oriented political party to take the nation away from the present rot in the political space.
The labour leaders who explained that Nigeria must be rescued politically, “for a quality control of the political process, through people’s and issues based politics and formations of the parties of the people, for the people and by the people as envisaged by Nigeria’s constitution”, however said they will commend “the establishment of the Labour Party that is anchored on the provision of equal opportunity and social justice for all Nigerians“.
They called for the consolidation of all progressive parties as Nigeria marches towards 2023. In a Communique issued at the weekend after its 31st Annual National Education Conference, the NUTGWN, advised that for sanity to prevail in the political order of Nigeria as the nation moves towards the 2023 polls, a credible election which is devoid of money politics is the critical foundation for true democracy, good governance and sustainable development.
The Communique signed by the President, John Adaji and the Secretary General of NUTGWN, the Communique commended the organised labour and other civil society organizations for partnering with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as observers and volunteers during the 2019 polls despite the hiccup that followed the general elections, urging them “to strengthen this process of collaboration through an urgent post election assessment”.
The labour leaders who recalled “the strategic relevance of workers involvement in the political process in the society” in the history of Nigeria’s democratic journey, urged them to stand up against the monetization of the nation’s political process in the future.
Aremu recalled “the political role labour played for Nigeria’s Independence, nation building, against military rule and return to democracy in Nigeria”, while condemning any attempt by any political party to continue to hold the nation captive through money politics and corruption.
Besides, on the forthcoming Governorship polls in Kogi and Bayelsa States, Aremu who is also a National Executive Council (NEC) member of NLC called on “INEC and other stakeholders to put necessary machineries in place for free and fair elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship elections scheduled to hold in November, 2019”.
The body expressed its “willingness to partner with INEC for quality control of Nigeria’s democratic process”.
Meanwhile, the Communique of NUTGWN stated that the Education Conference of the Union drew all “workers and stakeholders in the textile value chain together to critically, evaluate the current initiatives and the revival of the industry, review and discuss the Cotton Textile and Garment (CTG) Policy and its policy implications, reflect on the challenges and generate ideas for industrial revival, job creation and ensuring welfare of the workers in the Next Level of the new administration”.
Aremu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for changing the narrative of textile industry from that of closure to revival and recovery, saying that “the new CTG policy in addition to the three unprecedented Presidential Executive orders mandating government agencies to patronize Nigeria goods (textile inclusive) through budget spending is aimed at creating millions of jobs”.
He also commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its development financing initiatives on cotton seeds to farmers, restructured Bank of Industry (BOI) loans to the spinning and weaving mills and facilitating the historic signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the textile mills and uniformed services (Army, Navy, Police, Road safety, Civil Defence, Customs, Immigration, National Youth Service Corps etc) for their uniforms to be produced locally.
According to the labour leader, “President Buhari had envisioned 100 million jobs in a decade; Textile and garment sector promises as many as 2.5 million direct jobs”.
According to him, “The Textile Industry remains the key driver of sustainable jobs and development for most national economies of developing nations like ours”.
“Indeed, for Nigeria and Africa to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2030, especially SDG 9 dealing with industry and innovation, African continent must innovate and industrialize”.
“Africa must copy China’s industrialization drive which has within 20 years moved over 250 million people out of poverty through manufacturing and industrialization”.
The Textiles Union expressed support for “the current closure of Nigerian borders by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) as part of the strategies to combat smuggling while calling on the Nigeria’s Customs to effectively enforce the directive”, while also commending “the directive by President Buhari for special fund by the CBN and Industrial Training Fund (ITF) for capacity building and training of workers in the cotton, textile and garment value chain against the background of the new CTG policy and signing of the ACFTA”.
On the minimum wage for workers, the Union applauded the Kaduna State Government and other State Governments that have implemented the new Minimum Wage, just as it called “on other State governors and other employers of labour in both the public and private sectors to quickly implement the new minimum wage.”