The President, Nigerian Labour Congress, Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, on Monday in Abuja called on the government to introduce policies that would benefit Nigerians and check insecurity in the country.
He made the call at a joint NLC and Trade Union Congress 2012 May Day Symposium with the theme, “Right to Work, Food and Education: Panacea to Insecurity”.
Omar said that the government should pursue policies that had no adverse effects on the people.
The NLC president condemned the decision by some banks to layoff some workers as a result of the introduction of “cashless society” policy.
He noted that Zenith Bank announced recently its decision to lay off about 2,500 workers because of the policy.
“Government should take the lead in tackling insecurity in the nation; it should not be business as usual,’’ Omar said.
He said the government should not introduce policies without thinking of the repercussions on the people, adding: “We cannot continue to come up with policies that will always end up punishing the citizens.”
He said that job insecurity had led to the state of insecurity in the country, thereby exposing youths to criminal acts.
In his remarks, Mr Ali Chiroma, a former NLC president, said the government should pay more attention to job creation in ``practical terms”.
Chiroma urged the government to come up with policies that would support creation of jobs rather than the ones that would create more problems for the people.
In his comments, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu, the founding president of NLC, reiterated the need to make skills acquisition an integral part of the educational system and called for a change in ``the get-rich-quick” mentality.
Sunmonu urged the government to tackle insecurity by providing the basic needs of Nigerians and formulating policies that would enhance their well-being.
“A generator-run industry is not a competitive and sustainable industry; neo-liberalism is not sustainable because Nigeria is a communal society.
“Leaders should make the interest of Nigerians their own interest and they have to be accountable for it.”
Also speaking, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije noted that ensuring security in the country ``rests largely on education”.
Chukwumerije described education as an integral part of human development, saying the level of insecurity in the country would be reduced with a change in education policy.
He urged the government to come up with a ``Marshall Plan” to coordinate the funds and personnel involved in implementing education policies.
He noted that the Universal Basic Education scheme ``is no longer free or basic” and called for synergy at all levels to make it free and compulsory.
The symposium was held ahead of Tuesday’s May Day celebration.