2017 Budget: Workers welfare not properly captured – NLC

Posted by News Express | 28 June 2017 | 1,563 times

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•NLC President, Wabba

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says workers welfare is not properly captured in the 2017 national budget.

Addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba lamented that the national budget process was not transparent enough. 

"If you look at the estimate of this year budget, a lot of issues have arisen, especially the allocations for capital and current expenditure. But importantly, the fact also is that a lot of issues pertaining to the welfare of workers have not been properly captured," he lamented.

He said that there was a liability of over N300 billion on pension, especially the contributory pension scheme which should have been accommodated in the budget

"We have interfaced with the leadership of the National Assembly to try to see how this can be accommodated. And we are all aware that this has not been captured adequately," Comrade Wabba stated.

He pointed out that there were also some earned allowances yet to be earned but a portion of which had been provided in the budget.

“So, in terms of how the budget directly affects the workers, I think some of the issues certainly have not being captured very effectively.”

On the overall performance of the 2017 budget, Comrade Wabba noted that time was of essence, decrying the late implementation of the budget as substantial time had been lost in the budget process.

“Therefore our position is whatever needs to be done, needs to be done properly, especially the capital projects that have to do with putting in place our very importantly critical infrastructure need to receive the most desired attention," he said.

“Those issues can then kick-start and stimulate the economy and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.

“We are not producing and once those critical sectors are not working, we will remain in pathetic situation that we will not be able to get out of it.”

Comrade Wabba added that the process and the manner of implementation of the national budget had certainly not being encouraging to Nigerians.

He noted that a study of the figures in the budget showed that, major priorities were given to areas that do not address the fundamental issues that Nigerians are passing through.

“There is need for a transparent budget process where it would start very early and it will be open for public scrutiny and also the input can be made into the process.

“This will be able to address the very critical issues of our development, because if you look at some aspects of the budget, the overhead seems to be much more than the capital budget.

“That is not good for us, that is not good for our system and that is why we are in this situation,” he said. (NAN)

Source: News Express

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