The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said it will continue to hit the streets to protest issues of bad governance.
Speaking in Abuja during a lecture organised by the NLC in celebration of the 70th birthday of its general secretary, Peter Ezon-Esson, NLC president, Ayuba Wabba said the problem with Nigeria was not lack of resources but bad governance.
According to Wabba Nigeria’s problem is man made and not an act of God, stressing that Nigeria has been blessed with abundant resources.
He said, “What is happening in our country today is clearly not an act of God, but an act of human beings. The underdevelopment in Africa, particularly in our country cannot be the act of God because God has so richly blessed us. In all facet of human life, be it natural or human, we are blessed.
“The population we have is an asset and not a liability. You can see what China is doing with their population and so, we have every reason to continue to give thanks for the enormous resources that our country has been endowed with. But the central issue is actually the issue of leadership and policy option.
“Other groups and other countries have continued to manipulate our policies. We cannot on our fashion out policies that can change our situation. That is why those of us born in the sixties, we can remember the good old days. We can continue to say that those days are better than now. But in terms of resources, we have more resources now than in those days. But what are the issues. The issues are bad policies and bad governance. Therefore, for Nigeria to move forward and for Africa to move forward, we must change these policies. Here we are with abundant resources, but these resources are sold and the money stolen.”
Wabba also tasked the government to recover the “N5.8trillion borrowed from our banks by some individuals which they could not pay.
He said, “Infact, that money is enough to fund both recurrent budget of 2017 and 2018.there is no situation that should warrant this. It is hard earned money of the people that was used to salvage those banks, yet that money is in the hand of only 350 people and yet we are lamenting that there is no money and yet this money cannot be recovered from them.
“We must work together and not allow these few swallow what belong to all of us. We will continue to challenge and be on the streets. But importantly, we must realize where the challenges lies. Therefore, I urge government to do everything possible to recover that money because Nigerians will not sympathize with any person who has borrowed that money and still living in their comfort zone.
“They should be arrested and that money should be recovered because it is our common wealth. We cannot continue to subsidize for the rich. There is no reason why we should go borrowing money when that money is there lying fallow.
‘‘For more than 30 years, we have been lamenting and things have not changed and so, we should find a way out of this situation.”