SPN CONDOLES WITH THE FAMILIES OF DEAD APPLICANTS
NLC AND TUC SHOULD CALL A DAY OF NATIONAL PROTEST
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condoles with families of the applicants who died or were injured at the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise on May 15 across the country. We demand payment of adequate compensation to all the victims and the refund of the N1, 000 extorted from each of the applicants.
We observe that this is not the first time a government agency has extorted money from desperate youths looking for jobs apparently to gratify the greed of top government functionaries.
The huge number of applicants drawn by NIS recruitment exercise underscores the monumental crisis of unemployment in Nigeria. Even the current official statistics put the unemployment figure at 40 million! It is estimated about 2 million enter the labour market every year with extremely limited opportunities for getting a job. This explains why well over 500,000 applied for about 4,500 job spaces. We hold that this is a product of an unmitigated failure of the successive capitalist governments that have been celebrating so-called impressive economic growth, said to be among the fastest in the world, for well over a decade.
We welcome the mini protest held on March 17 by the textile labour union against the death of NIS applicants and support the planned protest by Joint Action Front (JAF) on March 27. We however call on both the NLC and TUC to mobilize for national day of protest in the memory of these young Nigerians that died prematurely through the visionless policies of the capitalist ruling elite.
We hold that the governments at all levels irrespective of political parties are culpable of the failure to provide decent job opportunities for youths and working people. All the parties currently in political power (PDP, APC, LP and APGA) subscribe to neo-liberal capitalist economic agenda that promote a "government has no business in business" principle and prioritize profits and privileges for a tiny few at the expense of the vast majority. This explains why the governments at all levels will rather loot public resources at their disposal than to commit them to job creation, social service provision and infrastructure development. All the jobs that are purportedly being created through different schemes by the federal government and states like Osun, Oyo and Ekiti are essentially casual jobs on poverty wage without any benefit. For instance in Osun, the OYES workers are paid N10, 000 per month which is even taxable!
We therefore call on both NLC and TUC leaders, instead of promoting or having illusion in the capacity of capitalist government to address the unemployment crisis facing Nigeria, to spearhead pro-working class socio-economic policies that will ensure that Nigeria's abundant human and natural resources are owned and run through elected and democratic committees of workers, poor farmers, market women, youth and the communities. This is with the central goal of meeting the basic needs and aspirations of all Nigerians, as opposed to the current capitalist arrangement which only favour a few at the expense of vast majority.
We hold that it is consistent defence of workers interest by the labour leadership on the basis of a holistic working class economic and political alternative that can bring to a permanent end the prevailing mass misery in the midst of stupendous abundance. What Nigerians need now is government, at all levels, that will put the interest of the vast majority working masses at the centre of governance and plan society in a such as way that the needs of the people will be the focal agenda.