President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday pleaded with various labour unions in the country to reduce their agitations to enable his administration to concentrate on repairing damaged infrastructure.
The organised labour had threatened to embark on nationwide protest next Tuesday over the refusal of the president to send National Minimum Wage Bill with the provision of N30,000 minimum wage to the National Assembly.
But speaking during a meeting with the executive committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, at the State House in Abuja, Buhari specifically mentioned the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and urged the striking teachers to appreciate the efforts of his administration at fixing collapsed infrastructure.
“In three-and-a-half years, we have improved tremendously on what we met. We are trying to do infrastructure.
“No matter which part of the country you come from, you will see the efforts we are making in terms of roads; we are trying to fix rails, we are trying to do power, through the use of gas and solar. If you note what we have done in these three-and-a-half years, you will not regret voting this administration into power”, a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying.
The President however promised to speak with ASUU to call off the current industrial action “so that they don’t encroach on your efforts to qualify (graduate) in time.”
In a veiled reference to the call by ASUU that the government should meet its financial demands, Buhari told the students that he had laid bare the income and expenditure of the government in the 2019 budget for all to see.
“There is a tendency for you to think that you can do better than anybody, but it is very good for you to know the facts that leadership entails”, he added.
He however assured labour unions that he meant well for Nigeria by focusing more on rebuilding collapsed infrastructure for now.
Speaking earlier, NANS President, Danielson Bamidele-Akpan, praised the administration’s efforts in tackling insurgency in the North-East.
The students’ body also sought urgent government intervention to end the ongoing strike by ASUU.