Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Labour Protest rallies start

Labour Protest rallies start

Below is the text of the Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) leaflet for the May 13 Lagos rally. LASCO is composed of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trades Union Congress (TUC), Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), United Action for Democracy (UAD) and other organizations.

Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) calls on workers, artisans, transporters, market women and men, professionals, youths and students:

  • Join Mass Protest March against Deregulation and Privatisation of Oil Industry
  • Support the Demand by Labour for N52, 200 Minimum Wage
  • Date: Wednesday May 13, 2009

    Venue: Take off Point:
    National Stadium Surulere Lagos

    Mass procession moves through Ikorodu Road to Maryland to Ikeja Roundabout and terminates at Lagos State Secretariat Alausa Ikeja

    Time: 6:00 am

    Why we say no to Deregulation?

    • Deregulation means monopoly of fuel market by profiteers and thus makes products (petrol, kerosene, diesel, aviation fuel, etc) expensive. For instance, diesel and aviation fuel are deregulated and hence their prices are exorbitant
    • The current/recent fuel scarcity is artificial. It is designed to deceive us into accepting deregulation as solution. We must say No!
    • We must also say No to sales of refineries. We rejected it with a mass protest in June 2007. Now, they want to bring back the anti-poor policy, we must stick to our gun.
    • Those who want to buy the refineries are parasites. They have been issued licenses since 2002 to build their own private refineries, till today none has been built. In fact, some of them have not even acquired land for the project! Now, they want to buy our refineries, of course with looted funds, we must resist the daily robbery on our collectively owned property.
    • Rather, we should call on government to make the 4 REFINERIES functional and build more. This will not only ensure abundant availability of fuel at home, but also serve as another source of foreign exchange revenue by exporting refined products.
    • Government says corruption in management of oil industry forces it to opt for deregulation. We say the corrupt are among them; they should be arrested and prosecuted. We can’t pay for corruption of the top government functionaries.
    • We say government can make corruption extremely difficult in public enterprises by placing them under open democratic control of workers and professionals.
    • The government has been using global economic meltdown as excuse to deny us improved living standards. We say no, we can’t pay for their crisis.
    • We enjoyed fundamentally precious nothing in term of infrastructure and improved living standard from almost one decade of oil boom which reached the all time high of $147 per barrel last July.

    Why we call for N52, 200 minimum wage?

    • The top functionaries of government pay themselves jumbo salaries and allowances. We should not be deceived by the much advertised proposed reduction in the salaries of the political office holders. We should ask them, what will happen to resources that will be accrued from the reduction? We know; it will be looted and embezzled by them.
    • We ask for workers to be paid a living wage. In the absence of social infrastructure, we generate our own electricity and water; we pay exorbitantly for education and health care. The cost of living has been worsened by global economic crisis. By today economic realities, the minimum we can manage for now is N52, 200.
    • Government and capitalist exploiters argue that there is no money to pay this kind of wages. We on our part must say that the country has abundant natural and human resources to guarantee decent income and living for every Nigerian. All that has to be done to achieve this is to use these resources for the benefit of all, and not just for a few money bags and looters in government.

    For Credible Electoral Reform and a Mass party of workers

    • Nigerians must insist that the National Assembly endorse the full recommendations by the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Panel in order to put an end to the shameful roles played by INEC in previous elections
    • We call for electoral system in which every vote counts, and hence the supremacy of the electorate in the choice of their leaders.
    • But the electoral reform is not enough without our own party. We must be prepared to create a mass party of working class to chase out the thieving elements from power.

    Arise Nigerians!

    Mobilise people in your workplaces and communities and form action committees to popularize this struggle and ensure mass participation.

    Oppose the design by the ruling elites to sell Nigeria!

    Issued by LASCO (Lagos Implementation Committee) Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), 29 Olajuwon Street Tejuoso, Yaba, Lagos