Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has concluded plans to sack about 4,000 public sector workers claiming paucity of funds. These sort of attacks on workers have been sustained since he became the governor of Kaduna State in 2015. Since Nasir El-Rufai sacked about 21,000 public sector workers in 2017, he has also placed an embargo on recruitment and restricted local government staff to a maximum of 50, placed compulsory retirement of workers who are 50 years and above and conversion of workers on Grade Level 01-06 to casual workers. The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns these mass sack of workers and attacks on jobs in Kaduna state. These sacks are cruel, exploitative and inhuman.

There is no justification for this mass sack! The argument put forward by the Kaduna State Government as reasons for the mass sack is insincere and fraudulent. The only reason that can be responsible for paucity of funds, if truly there is any, is the mismanagement of funds and the economy by past and present governments in the state. Notable among these are the monumental waste and corruption that is currently going on in government particularly in the area of unaccounted huge security votes were often drawn from the state fund, expensive contract system that sees projects being corruptly inflated and jumbo salaries and allowances for political office holders who often idle away and their pay is hundreds of times more than a skilled public sector worker.

The CDWR challenges Nasir El-Rufai to open the books and financial records for public scrutiny. The public will want to know the true state of the finance and how public funds are being managed. We hereby demand a probe panel made up of elected workers and professionals to probe the finances and make its findings public.

The problem has been that these bourgeois elements, particularly in a neo-colonial backward country like Nigeria, are parasites who remain in government solely for the purpose of leeching on public resources. They sack workers and reduce public spending on social services in order to maintain the same opulent lifestyle and the same volume of loots whenever there is a decline in revenue. Besides, they do not see workers as an important aspect in the process of developing the economy because they lack the capacity to plan and sustainably grow and develop the economy to meet the needs of all. Workers are being sacked in a period when workers need an increase in wage to meet the rising cost of living.

These attacks are made possible because the leadership of trade union organisations, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the affected affiliates at the state and national level have failed to challenge these anti-poor policies in the public and private sectors. For instance, when Nasir El-Rufai brazenly sacked 21,000 in 2017, the NLC and the TUC failed to challenge it in a concerted and determined manner. Except that these attacks are resisted this time around, there is a danger that Nasir El-Rufai will be emboldened to carry out more attacks and these could motivate other state and local governments including the federal government to carry out more attacks on the working people and poor.

Already, over 16 state governments are yet to show any commitment towards the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage while growing casualization and loss of jobs in the private sector where thousands of workers have also been thrown out of jobs just to satisfy the profit greed of a few privileged and corrupt business owners. This happens without determined effort by the leadership of trade union organisations to challenge these anti-workers policies because of their strategic alliance with the bourgeois ruling elite and big business bosses.

The CDWR frowns at this anti-labour collaborationist policy and calls on the national leadership of the NLC and TUC to begin the mobilization of workers in Kaduna state and across the country to resist all anti-labour actions and neo-liberal policies through mass protests, rallies, mass sensitization and general strike. Where the labour leaders in Kaduna State and elsewhere in the country fail to challenge these anti-poor policies, we call on activists and the rank and file workers to organize themselves to take actions.

Comrade Rufus Olusesan

National Chairperson

Comrade Chinedu Bosah

National Publicity Secretary

E-mail: [email protected]