Nigeria: Tinubu Hits Back At Labour Over Strikes

President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

President Bola Tinubu yesterday threw jabs at the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over its series of industrial actions, saying calling four strikes against his administration that is barely nine months is unacceptable.

The president, who stated this at the official commissioning of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT), Red Line in Lagos, also said his administration will fight corruption that is currently fighting back at his administration to the end.

He said, "The labour has gone on strike four times within my nine months in government. That's a record. Calling for a strike in just nine months of an administration is unacceptable. NLC is not the only voice in Nigeria. It should wait till 2027 if it is interested in joining the electoral process."

Tinubu said he was aware of the complaints being made over the economic challenges in the country, saying he won't complain because he asked for the nation's top job.

"I am assuring that Nigeria will be out of economic problems; we just need to persevere, work hard and be assured", he said.

Tinubu identified corruption as one of the major reasons the country is facing economic challenges and promised not to look back in the fight against the menace.

He reassured Nigerians that his administration was committed to fighting corruption to ruins.

"No going back on reforms. Smugglers will fight back, corruption will fight back but we will fight and win. Corruption will go away. The fight against corruption is on; we will not look back; we will fight it to ruins.

"I speak to Nigerians through this podium that change is possible and change we must achieve, progress we must achieve. It is not about the single individual, it is about the highest growing population in the world. If you travel abroad, out of every five black individuals is a Nigerian.

"We cannot afford to relax the burgeoning population; we must plan and prepare for it, we must be committed to a great value, this economy we must blow it, we will build ourselves out of the penury and will be happy that we did it.

"Taking a close look at work in aviation, what is our problem, if it is corruption, we must exterminate it. No matter how hard it is fighting back, we will say no to corruption, we must adhere to our pledge, patriotism, perseverance, consistency and stay open", he said.

Dwelling on the project, he said the commissioning is a serious validation of democracy of the people, for the people and by the people, adding that the commissioning is also the crowning of the momentum of greatness his administration kick started many years ago which has become a reality.

He also said the commissioning is also proof that a well guided blueprint has worked across four administrations in the state.

"Today is evidence that it's good to dream and it is a serious validation of democracy by the people for the people, when you people at the centre are focused, have vision and planning, you will realise the value of democracy.

"Twenty-five years ago, I was elected to lead Nigeria most populous state, the smallest in land mass, when all that existed here was suppressed and aborted potential. And when the dream began, my team and I toiled day and night to draft and implement a developmental vision that will transform Lagos into the economic power house of Africa and a respected mega city on a global state. We are realising that dream.

"I am pleased to declare to you that the momentum of greatness we kick started a quarter of century ago has since become unstoppable. It's not a crime to dream and dream big, just stay focused, precisely make development a central focus," he said.

The president commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team for the laudable project.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, in his speech at the occasion, appreciated the two former governors of the state, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola for starting the construction of the Blue Line and also his successor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for his significant and indelible contributions to the further development of the Blue Line.

The governor also thanked former President Goodluck Jonathan for signing-off on the track-sharing agreement, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for providing the necessary cooperation and support.

Sanwo-Olu sought more support from the Federal Government to further actualize its dream on other rail lines yet to kick off.

"Mr. President, this is not the end of the story, but merely the beginning. As I said earlier, we are on a long and exciting journey. Much has been accomplished, and there is still much ahead to be done. There will be a total of six Lines on the Lagos Rail Mass Transit System, when fully developed. We have already started preliminary work on the next two: the Green and Purple Lines."

According to him, the Green line is a 71.49-kilometre route from Marina to the Lekki Free Zone, one of the fastest-growing industrial areas on the continent, and also where the new Lagos International Airport will be sited.

"The Purple Line is a 54.35-kilometre line from the Redemption Camp to Ojo, near the Lagos State University. The final two lines will be the Orange and the Yellow Lines", he said.

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