The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Monday, expressed concerns about the inadequacy of salaries received by members of the National Assembly, stating that they are not enough to cater to the demands from their constituents. Akpabio made this statement during a debate on a motion sponsored by Abdulraman Kawu Suleiman, a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) representing Kano South. The motion focused on the impending strike planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the need to avert it.
Akpabio acknowledged the enormous hardships brought about by the removal of petroleum subsidy, but urged the people to exercise patience with the government as steps are being taken to alleviate their suffering. He emphasized that lawmakers’ earnings are meager compared to the volume of requests they receive from various constituents represented in the National Assembly.
In defense of his motion, Kawu highlighted the potential consequences of the proposed NLC strike. He warned that the strike could cripple the country, severely curtailing movement as commercial transport operators would withdraw their services, and markets, schools, and healthcare facilities would be forced to shut down.
Kawu also expressed concern that the strike could escalate political tensions and lead to more hardships for the nation. He emphasized the potential adverse effects, including dislocation of businesses, hunger, frustration, and significant financial losses, which could negatively impact Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Moreover, Kawu raised alarm about the negative impact of a prolonged strike on the country’s reputation, both economically and educationally. He noted that such actions portray Nigeria in a bad light to the external world and could discourage foreign investors from doing business or studying in the country.
In response to the debate, the Senate resolved to mandate its leadership to mediate between the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Federal Government to find a resolution and avert the impending strike. The intervention aims to mitigate the potential adverse effects of the strike and create a conducive environment for dialogue and negotiations between the two parties.
As the issue continues to gain attention and the nation faces economic challenges due to the subsidy removal, it is essential for all stakeholders to work collaboratively and responsibly to address the concerns of the labour union while ensuring the overall stability and progress of the nation.