The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has opposed the planned privatisation of public healthcare facilities in Nigeria. The union suggested that the Federal Government needs to cut fuel subsidies and use the proceeds to fund education in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by TUC President, Mr Festus Osifo, at the end of the union’s National Administrative Council (NAC), Central Working Committee (CWC) and National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union on Friday in Abuja, according to NAN.
The Nigerian Medical Association had earlier proposed the FG sell shares in Federal Hospitals and also moderate the prices for efficiency.
What the TUC is saying
Osifo said that the NEC in session strongly opposed the move by the Federal Government to privatise the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Federal hospitals.
He said, “Nigerians had never benefitted from privatisations done in the past and as such, TUC strongly frowns at it.
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“As TUC, we take a complete exception to this. The NEC of TUC frowns at this because the privatisation that was done in the past, where has it led us to?
“Nothing meaningful has ever come out from the previous privatisation processes, especially the power sector.”
He also urged the Federal Government to place value on education in the country, citing that the TUC as a body will do everything possible to ensure that it engages both ASUU and the government to find an amicable solution to the incessant strikes.
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“You will agree with me that where there is a will, there is always a way. The value that is placed on our university system is the reason why we are here today,” he added
The Union also urged that there was no need for government to continue paying for fuel subsidies as the impact was clearly not felt by Nigerians and suggested that the money meant for fuel subsidy could be used to meet the demands of university-based unions.
What you should know
- Earlier this month, Dr Uche Ojinmah, the National President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) urged the Federal Government to consider privatising the nation’s hospitals for them to perform optimally.
- He urged FG to go for graded privatisation where they sell 51% of the shares.
- He said: “They get a core investor or sell 51 per cent of the shares to the core investor; if the government does not want to leave totally it can keep a certain percentage, maybe 30 per cent so that with that they can still moderate the price so that we don’t go for full gains to the detriment of the people.
- “Then the remaining 19 per cent should be sold to the workers to retain the hospital so that they know they have a stake in this business and they will give their all so that is not all about salary.
- “So now, having a representative in that board as government will help to moderate the price so that there is that human face which is what a doctor brings to heading a hospital.”