The Nigeria Labour Congress has said the security votes in the executive arm of government should be scrapped from the budgeting system, to avert abuses in line with the reality of the COVID-19 financial constraints on the country.
The NLC stated this in a communique obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday, adding that the congress demanded an “immediate stop to the practice of borrowing” and foreign loans except “tied exclusively to capital projects.”
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, as well as the Country Director, Action Aid, Ene Obi, issued the communique after the Labour-Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19.
The NLC said, “The Labour-Civil Society Situation Room on COVID-19 unequivocally condemns and rejects the arbitrary deduction in the salaries and pension of workers and pensioners, respectively, by the Kaduna State Government and other states. We throw our weight behind the ultimatum by our workers in the affected states for a reversal of the unjust decision. We fully stand by workers’ resolve to embark on a strike if their demands are not met.
“Given the abuse of security votes by many political office holders in the executive branch of government, we call for the scrapping of security votes from public budgeting in Nigeria. Security votes should be appropriated and accounted for like every other budget item. We call on political office holders to reduce their salaries and allowances in order to free up finances for other areas of national developmental needs.
“We also call for an end to medical and education tourism for elected public officials and their families. We call for an immediate stop to the practice of borrowing to finance consumption. We call for foreign loans where necessary to be tied exclusively to capital projects with feasible income and debt repayment potential.”