Mr Peter Esele, outgoing President, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Thursday said that Nigeria needed responsible leadership and followership to grow the economy.
Esele spoke at the 9th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) in Abuja.
The theme of this year’s conference is, “The Labour Movement in Nigeria: a Centenary of Unity, Diversity and Nation building’’.
He said Nigeria would be the best country in the world, if it was peaceful and free of corrupt leaders.
“We must desist from planning on only how to share our revenue. We must have responsible leadership and followership to be a great nation,’’ he said.
According to him, Nigeria must focus on agriculture to be the main stay of the nation’s economy because the sector still has the potential and capacity of providing employment for its youths.
He decried the non-implementation of the new minimum wage by some state governments and urged the Federal Government to ensure that all states comply.
The outgoing president advised that injustice in the land and anti-labour activities must be nipped in bud by the new leadership of the union.
He thanked the membership of the union for their support, noting that it was the support that led to the provision of the union’s mass transport system.
“You gave us the opportunity to provide busses for the people, we are able to fight for the increment of the workers salary from N7, 500 to N18,000.
“We also secure the housing scheme for our members through your support and doggedness.
“As I leave as your president, I will like to say that the quality of the leadership you choose today, will determine the kind of labour movement you will have in the next three years in TUC,’’ he said.
Mr Abdulwaheed Omar, the NLC President, in his address, said that TUC leaders should continue to partner for the growth of Nigerian workers.
He said that the congress would work with whoever emerges as the president, urging the delegates to choose wisely.
“TUC leaders must be focused and partner with NLC, if not it may spell doom for the labour movement,’’ he said.
Mr Femi kila, a former TUC president, urged the incoming leadership to tackle the problem of casualisation in order to secure the future of trade unionism.
“The future of trade unionism is very slim if we continue to have contract workers. If we do not secure the work of these people today, trade union is in danger,’’ he said.