The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has asked the Federal Government to jettison the idea of sharing the $350 million recently returned to the country as part of the Abacha loot to Nigerians and instead tie the money to specific projects that would improve the lives of the people.
In a statement signed by its National President and General Secretary, Bobboi Kaigama and Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi respectively, the TUC said the idea of sharing the money was unacceptable as it was a grand ploy to re-loot the recovered money.
The statement reads: “the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) is not in support of the recent plan by Federal Government to share the $350 million (which is equivalent to N115 billion) recovered Abacha loot among estimated 300,000 households, with each getting around $14 (around N5, 000).
“For us, this is unacceptable and can be termed another avenue to re-loot the loot. The recovered loot has to be tied to projects. We are people deficient in everything that makes life comfortable and worth living.
“We lack the basic things of life; infrastructure – ranging from roads, modern rail system, hospitals and power to mention a few. Our education has collapsed. The technical schools have gone into extinction likewise science and technology.
“Mr. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, is among the five richest persons in the world now with $71 billion. What does he sell? Nothing. How many manufacturing companies does he have? None. Infotech is one aspect that the youths have interest in, yet there is no encouragement.
“The argument that the Federal Government had been drawing money from other sources to fund the Social Investment Programme of the government, an APC initiative and promise made during 2015 electioneering campaigns is not tenable.
“Those sources equally belong to our common patrimony. It is on record that monies have been recovered since this administration came on board. And we cannot really say this is what government has been done with it. On this particular one we say no to sharing. Government must tie the money to projects.
“This remains the only way it would have a significant impact on poverty alleviation and overall development of the country. We have a population of about 200 million and government wants to share $350 million.
“Our posers: What is the formula for sharing? By geographical zones?, Through state governors or by Individual families? Can someone explain something we don’t know? This government must learn to hear.
“Our population and landmass should be an advantage. Unfortunately there hadn’t been creative thinking on the part of the leadership. We expect the authorities to do the right thing and stop creating wrong impressions. Repatriated funds should be transparently and accountably spent.”