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We’re not your problem, focus on challenges facing Nigerians, labour union replies Tinubu

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged President Bola Tinubu to concentrate on the challenges facing Nigerians and work towards
tackling them instead of engaging in rhetoric and war of words with organised labour.

The NLC, which was reacting to remarks credited to the P
president on Thursday where he said that the labour unions lacked the moral ground to challenge his administration after only nine months, charged the president to show evidence of fulfilling any agreement reached with the organised labour within the said nine months of his administration.

The President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, in a statement addressed to Tinubu on Friday, specifically told the President that the NLC and Nigerian workers are not after his job, but that he should therefore focus on fulfilling his promises to Nigerians than threatening trade union organizations.

“The recent statements attributed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the commissioning of the Red-Line Railway Project have sparked deep concern within the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),” Ajaero said.

“We find these remarks, particularly those concerning the role of Labour in governance, to be profoundly at variance with the struggles faced by ordinary Nigerians under existing policies,” he continued.

“President Tinubu’s insinuation that Labour lacks the moral ground to challenge his administration, merely nine months into office, is deeply troubling.

“Moreover, his focus on partisan issues and the distant 2027 election cycle, rather than the urgent needs of the populace, further underscores a disconnect from the realities faced by Nigerians on a daily basis.

“It is regrettable that the President seems oblivious of the profound hardships endured by millions of Nigerians.

“The pervasive hunger, unemployment, housing, insecurity, and escalating costs of basic necessities such as food and healthcare demand immediate attention and decisive action.

“Yet, instead of addressing these pressing concerns, President Tinubu appears preoccupied with political calculations and future electoral prospects.

“The NLC wishes to emphasize that our primary objective is not to vie for political positions, including that of the President. Rather, our sole focus is on advocating for effective governance that prioritizes the welfare and security of all Nigerians.

“We urge President Tinubu to redirect his efforts towards fulfilling this fundamental duty of public office, rather than engaging in political rhetoric.

“It is imperative that we refocus our collective energy on addressing the substantive issues that have been the subject of engagement between Labour and the government since June 2023.

“These include critical matters such as wage increases, social welfare programs, infrastructure development, and the revitalization of key sectors such as education and healthcare.

“In any case, to avoid the dissipation of energy, it is important that we focus on the real issues because we have engaged the government since June 2023 after the subsidy is gone statement.

“The issues are around the non-implementation of agreements reached between us and the government.

“Once again Mr. President, these are the issues and not election or perhaps seeking to take over your job. We would want Mr. President to show us the items his government has implemented in this agreement.

“Perhaps, the government wants to tell Nigerians that we do not have right to ask that it complies with the agreement it willingly reached with us?

“But beside all these, in the two MoUs signed with this government on the 5th of June and October 2nd 2023, which item has his government implemented beside rhetoric. The first MoU has seven items while the second has 15 items.

“It has been a chain of broken promises not only to Labour but to hungry Nigerians. President Tinubu’s administration must be held accountable for the commitments made in previous agreements with Labour.

“It is disheartening to note the apparent lack of progress in implementing these agreements, despite repeated assurances from the government.

“Nigerians deserve transparency and tangible results, not empty promises and bureaucratic delays. Furthermore, the use of divisive language and veiled threats against Labour by President Tinubu is unacceptable.

“It is incumbent upon all stakeholders to foster constructive dialogue and collaboration in addressing the myriad challenges facing our nation.

“Violence and intimidation have no place in a democratic society, and any attempts to suppress dissent will only exacerbate tensions and undermine our collective efforts towards progress and prosperity.

“Finally, the NLC reiterates its unwavering commitment to championing the interests of Nigerian workers and the broader populace.

“We call upon President Tinubu to heed the voices of ordinary Nigerians, prioritize governance over politics, and take meaningful steps towards building a more inclusive and equitable society,“ NLC said.

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President Hichilema pledges support for Zambian SMEs

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Zambian President, Hakainde Hichilema, has pledged his government’s commitment to support the country’s small and medium scale enterprises as well as the principles of solidarity, equity and inclusivity in his administration’s development agenda.

Hichilema who made the pledge during the 2024 Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Co-operatives Indaba in Lusaka on Wednesday, said his government was committed to promoting the growth of in the country.

The President who was represented at the event by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Elias Mubanga, stated that his administration had already embarked on the journey because of the important role MSMEs played in national development.

While delivering a speech on the theme “Harnessing the power of collaboration in fostering Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Cooperative growth for sustainable economic development”, Hichilema noted that this would be achieved by providing MSMEs and Co-operatives genuine engagement in decision-making processes and capacity-building programmes can boost their creativity.

“Inter-connection and inter-independence collaboration stand as a cornerstone of growth across all sectors of the Zambian economy particularly among MSMEs and Cooperatives.”

He added that this can also boost the resilience and entrepreneurial drive of small businesses in order to stimulate development.

“Government is focusing on MSMEs and cooperatives’ engagement, as well as strengthening policy execution to promote and facilitate advanced investments for the nation’s long-term growth.”

He further added that government was engrossed with the participation of MSMEs and Co-operatives and strengthening the implementation of policy to promote and facilitate increased remittances and investment for the nation to attain sustainable development.

Hichilema stressed that in 2023, government, through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development launched the Revised National MSME Development Policy and its Implementation Plan (2023-2028).

“This underscored government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for MSMES to thrive,” the Head of State said.

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In Sallah message, Tinubu charges Nigerians to have faith in his reform agenda

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President Bola Tinubu has once again urged Nigerians to have faith in his “bold reforms” and the commitment to his administration’s “Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Tinubu, who gave the reassurance in his Eid-el-Fitr message to the nation on Wednesday, praised Nigerians for their resilience, sacrifice, and endurance in the face of the hardship they are going through as a result of the policies of his administration.

The President who observed his Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Dodan Barracks in Ikoyi, Lagos State, also urged Nigerians to defend the integrity of the country at all times.

In a chat with journalists after the prayers, President Tinubu said called on Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of the recently concluded Ramadan fasting.

“Today marks a significant day in Islam as Muslims worldwide commemorate the conclusion of Ramadan and the Eid-el-Fitr festivities,” he said.

“Moreover, let us perpetuate the spirit of compassion and support for one another, as demonstrated during the month of Ramadan, and extend assistance to those in need.

“The kind of resilience, sacrifice, endurance that we have, we should preserve that for the country. Be a kind and cheerful giver, love our country better than any other country – that is the only one that we have.

“And we must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The new hope is alive, well and fine and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful.

“Without hope there is no salvation, without hope, there is no development, without hope, there is no life,” Tinubu said.

The President went further to state that the Renewed Hope Agenda would result in a better Nigeria in the shortest possible future.

“Renewed hope is very much alive, Nigerians should be hopeful,” he added.

Shortly after he assumed office on May 29, 2023, President Tinubu had assured Nigerians that his Renewed Hope Initiative would be a culmination of his government’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria and Nigerians fulfill their potentials.

“The Renewed Hope Agenda of my administration is defined by our commitment to unleashing our country’s full economic potential, by focusing on job creation, access to capital for small and large businesses, inclusiveness, the rule of law, and the fight against hunger, poverty and corruption,” President Tinubu had declared during his inaugural speech.

But almost a year after that speech and declaration, Nigeria has been plunged into economic crisis occasioned by high cost of living, inflation, and hardship due to the policies of the government.

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