Organised labour is calling on members of the National Assembly (NASS) to prioritize minimizing the cost of governance and legislation in the country. In reiterating their demands, labour emphasized that the 10th Assembly should be content with the allowances approved for them by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission. This move demonstrates their commitment to checks and balances while reducing the expenses associated with their maintenance.
Prince Adewale Adeyanju, the acting president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and president general of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), made the call. Adeyanju highlighted that the cost of governance in Nigeria is significantly higher compared to other countries. Citizens are eager to see the expenses associated with running the parliament and the executive branch brought down to a level that is sustainable for the nation.
Adeyanju urged members of the National Assembly to be guided not by personal interests but by the oath of office they have taken. He reminded them that Nigerians are watching and waiting for them to fulfill the aspirations of those who voted for them.
The labour leader emphasized the importance of the task before the leadership of both chambers. Adeyanju stated the need for laws that deepen and strengthen democracy, particularly regarding elections, governance, accountability, and citizen participation. He also pointed out the necessity of reviewing existing laws and conducting transparent investigations. Adeyanju highlighted the importance of honest oversight of institutions and organizations.
Furthermore, Adeyanju expressed the expectations of labour and the Nigerian populace. They anticipate the National Assembly to produce laws that address the issues that haven’t been functioning effectively. However, he cautioned that while expecting great things from the Assembly, it is crucial to emphasize that the National Assembly is not an extension of the Executive. Its role in law-making, investigation, and oversight is defined by the constitution, and loyalty should be to the nation and the electorate, not the party or the executive.
Adeyanju also voiced the displeasure of Nigerians who perceive lawmakers as individuals primarily concerned with personal gain. He emphasized the need for the 10th National Assembly to diligently work to correct this impression and prioritize the interests of the people and the nation.