A mining sector union of over six million members, the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers (NUMW) have pledged unalloyed support for the re-election bid of president Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the Buhari administration has been able to place the sector on a path of sustainable development.
The union said president Buhari deserves a second term in order to complete ongoing mining sector projects.
In a statement jointly signed by the National President and Acting General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Hamza Muhammad and Comr A. A. Suleiman respectively, the union expressed confidence in the ability of the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Hon Abubakar Bawa Bwari and the National Economic Council headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to continue to give valuable direction to the sector in the bid to ensure that the solid minerals sector plays its role in the diversification of the economy.
The statement said: “The entire body of the Nigerian Union of Mines Workers unanimously pledge our support for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, and we have reasons for the decision.”
Giving reasons for the decision, the leaders of the over six million mine workers said: “The Federal Government has been able to place the mining sector on the path of sustainable growth,” adding that the mining sector is currently able to play its crucial role in the much desired diversification of the economy.
They explained that “several administrations paid lip service to the sector, but the Muhammadu Buhari administration has been able to live up to expectation,” adding that the union is aware of ongoing efforts across various axis of the sectors aimed at fulfilling the promises that are not yet completely fulfilled.
“It is well known that the mining sector is not only contributing to the increase in the GDP of the country, the contribution is increasingly steady and has been sustained.”
“As a result of the successes already recorded and the additional efforts being made to complete the implementation of the Roadmap for Growth and Development of the Nigerian mining sector, we believe that president Buhari should be re-elected for another term of four years,” noting that the sector is already overcoming hurdles.
The statement further said that “the Nigerian economy is being diversified through implementation of effective policies in mining and agricultural sectors,” adding that as at today, the body that is responsible for managing the affairs of all mines workers across the 36 states of the federation therefore pledges support for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in order to sustain achievements in the mining sector and other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“We are sure that in another four years, the Buhari administration would be able to consolidate on the gains of the ongoing tenure,” adding that if the commitment is sustained, the Nigerian mining sector will join the rank of mining sectors of developed countries.
“We wish to draw the attention of the Buhari administration to the need to fully restore the nation’s steel sector to productivity, if revitalized, Ajaokuta Steel Company and National Iron Ore Mining Company will play their crucial roles in jobs creation and national economic development.
He therefore called on the Buhari administration to do more than it has done to ensure the revitalization of the country’s steel sector.
While saying that the development of the steel sector is an area where the government must be commended for the efforts it is making, the union however noted that until Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO) and the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe become fully operational, “the union would not give government an overwhelming pass mark even though we acknowledge the effort of the administration to revitalize the industries.”
The union explained that “in view of the efforts being made by government to revive the sector, some of which have started yielding desired results, we will continue to encourage our members to vote for the re-election of president Muhammadu Buhari.”
“We strongly encourage workers in the public and private sector to thrown-in their weight for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari as a way of ensuring the completion of the good works the administration has already commenced.”
The statement further said: “The Nigerian Union of Mines Workers will not encourage the election of those who plan to sell national assets,” adding that the union will continue to vehemently resist politicians who aim to sell the assets and cause huge job losses while devastating the country’s economy.
The Union congratulated Comr Ayuba Wabba on his re-election as President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in the recently concluded National Delegates Conference of the NLC, and pledged “support to the NLC in its bid to resist the unpatriotic agenda of self-serving politicians who are poised to sell the country’s premier national assets like the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC), Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASCO) and the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe, among others.”
“We will continue to join forces with the NLC to ensure that Nigeria’s national assets are preserved and managed in the best interest of workers,” the union stated.
“We call on the government to revisit the privatization of National Power Holding Company which used to be National Electric power Authority, saying that privatization of the former agency is not in the best interest of national development.