Vanguard (Lagos)

4 February 2013

Nigeria: Constitution Review - Don't Subvert Collective Interest of Nigerians, NLC Tells Nass

Lagos — NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, weekend, said the signals coming from the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives on the review of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was disturbing.

NLC in a statement by its President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, warned the House of Representatives not allow itself to be used by any political group or interest to subvert the views and collective interests of the Nigerian people in the final report of the sessions held nationwide on the constitution amendment.

Congress said it hoped that the National Assembly was not yielding to pressure from the Governors Forum among others who had been reported to be against some popular proposals on critical sections of the constitution most Nigerians advocated should be included in the new constitution.

According to NLC,"we reiterate our position that the new constitution provides for full local government autonomy as expected in a federation."

According to the statement.

"The Local Governments are closer to the mass of our people and its only when they are fully independent that the Nigerian people can enjoy the benefits of democracy.

"Rather than continue to tie the local governments to the whims and caprices of state governments, the constitution should ensure funds meant for local governments go directly to them and all funds and other resources generated by the local governments should be managed by the local governments and not the state governments.

"This is one way we can deepen democracy in Nigeria and ensure a working federal system that will benefit the Nigerian people."

"The Nigerian people were united on this during the public sessions held last year in all the 360 constituencies where the Peoples' Public Sessions were held by the House of Representatives in collaboration with labour and civil society groups in the country.

"The Nigerian people were also united that labour and industrial relations matters must remain in the exclusive list as it is in the 1999 constitution and must not be tampered with as it is in the interest of industrial peace and the principles of tripartism which promotes transparency, fairness, and result oriented collective bargaining.

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