It’s been five months now since the Federal government made this announcement, that Nigeria is no more facing the menacing economic recession. The group at its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting which was held in Enugu state, declared that there are no signs that Nigeria is out of recession.
According to the group, all critical indices to be checked to confirm this are already pointing to the contrary.
Speaking to guests and members of the group, President-General of the Association, Bobboi Kaigama, represented by the Vice-President of ASCSN, Bola-Audu Innocent expressed that:
“Nothing appears to be moving in the right direction as all sectors of the economy are bleeding profusely. The country is witnessing a deteriorating standard of living, lack of public goods and services, high level of corruption and rent seeking. As things stand today, many people cannot eat let alone being in a position to afford ordinary things that make life comfortable and worthy of living. Little wonder, Nigeria that had once been ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world now occupies the near bottom position in terms of Happiness Index. The deterioration is best exemplified by the surge in vices now recorded in the land.
“Many Nigerians, especially the youth want to get out of the country at all cost in search of the proverbial “greener pastures.” In the process, many have lost their lives in the high sea in an attempt to cross to Europe. Recently, 23 dead bodies of Nigerian women were found in a refrigerated section of a Spanish warship. They were on a rubber boat along with some other migrants trying to escape from the hardship that we are forced to live with here in Nigeria.
We now live in a country where everybody is for himself and God for all. Life is no doubt getting tougher by the day. In view of this sorry state of affairs, we urge all our respective governments to rise up to the occasion by taking urgent steps to ameliorate the sufferings being experienced by the masses of this great country of ours and put smiles on the faces of Nigerians once again. Anything to the contrary will continue to push the country to the precipice with very dire consequences.” Diversion of bailout Meanwhile, Kaigama declared that “it is quite shameful to note that all efforts by this Union in particular and the labour movement in general to remedy the dire state faced by workers in terms of prompt payment of salaries and pensions have proved abortive despite the release of bailout funds and the Paris Club refunds to states by the Federal Government.
As we speak, many states still owe their workers between five (5) and ten (10) months’ salaries and pensions arrears. Some of the worst hit states include Benue, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Kogi, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti. Osun State workers on their part have been on half salaries since July 2015. “As a trade union and a major stakeholder, the Association decries this most unfortunate situation of non-utilisation of bailout funds released by the Federal Government to pay workers’ salaries by some states and thus calls for the immediate probe of states that are known to have diverted the funds while culprits should be made to face the full weight of the law. What the erring states have done is nothing but act of terrorism against Nigerian workers.
“It is nothing but share wickedness for Governors to be enjoying with members of their families, leaving innocent workers to go home hungry on empty stomach. Moreover, states ought to get their priorities right. They have to embark on governance models that can stand the test of time.
The group in summation called on the Federal government to check the cause of the prolonged economic imbalances, saying that money flushed down into the pockets of some corrupt office holders is one major cause and that government should attach strict instructions to money handled by public officers.