Policy Reforms: Comrade Aremu calls for consensual gradualist approach

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A National Executive Council (NEC) member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Vice President of the Industriall Global Union, Comrade Issa Aremu has called  on Governments at all levels to adopt consensual gradualist approach to policy reforms instead of the current shock therapy approach.

He said the shock therapy approach  tends to create more problems than providing solutions for good governance, 

 “The recent controversies that trailed the attempt by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)  to increase end-user tariffs for  electricity,  application of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS)  in the Universities, proposed reintroduction of toll gates by Ministry of works and the insistence of  Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) that candidates for the forth-coming 2020 must acquire National Identification Number (NIN) or forfeit their chance of sitting for the examination, are examples of shock therapy approaches to reforms” he said. 

Comrade Aremu hailed the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede for  good reforms in the JAMB and urged him to suspend the use of the National Identity Number (NIN), for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) to enable teeming students wanting to write JAMB be captured for the exam.

 He called on other agencies to demonstrate similar sensitivity to the plight of stakeholders in policy formulation and policy implementation. 


“The lesson from JAMB/NIN saga is that Nigeria must follow sequence reforms with time lines for stakeholders to appreciate rationale for policies and even make their inputs known. Public Policies should be for Stakeholders by Stakeholders with genuine partnership as envisaged by Sustainable Development Goals of 2030” he added.  

Comrade Aremu (front) riding bicycle as part of activities to mark his 59th birthday

On the toll gate reconstruction,  Comrade Aremu appealed to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola to have a  rethink on the return of toll plazas on federal roads.

He called for an appropriate explanations why the tolls were first dismantled by the previous governments and when the roads would be motorable for users through reconstruction and repairs.  Speaking on the NERC tariff increament, Aremu advised  NERC to address the concerns of electricity users in terms of poor energy service delivery instead of addictive increases in tariffs without complementary sustainable power supply.

“The obsession of NERC with macroeconomic parameters and costs that would make case for operators must be tempered with the interests of poor customers  and national development. The truth is lack of sustainable electricity is under-developing Nigeria. NERC must address the concerns of consumers not just the interests of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) alone. 

He cautioned governors in the Southwest of the country over the launching of a security outfit called Amatekum, saying that the act may lead to decentralization of crises in the country.

“On Thursday, January 9, 2020, Governors of Nigeria’s six southwest States of Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo and Lagos, launched the western Nigeria security network called ‘Operation Amotekun’ in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo were present at the flag-off while Governors Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Dapo Abiodun of Ogun cited poor weather conditions as reason for their absence. 

“The fear is that this new initiative about security at sub-national level may be out of fear than reasoned and well thought out security strategy. For one security like many critical issues like capital and labour controls are on the exclusive list of the constitution.

 “The hope is that Operation Amotekun is not another state police without constitutional consideration and legitimacy in a Federation. Who can train and arm youths for security in Federation? Do they have power of intelligence gathering, arrest and prosecution? How does the Operation Amotekun relate with the existing Nigeria Police Force? Who pays and what are they paid.

“My suggestion is that both the Federal and state governments should have preventive approach to issue of security. There is a link between poverty, unemployment and rising crimes. It’s time state governments reinvented industries and create decent sustainable jobs instead of unnecessarily and uncritically arming the youths in the name of security. 

“All states should key to the vision of President Buhari in creating 100 million jobs in 10 years. A million Federal and state police men will be overwhelmed by 80 million unemployed while 80 million fully employed youths would minimize crimes and make the jobs of police easier in maintaining security” he added. 

He sais he dedicated  his 59th birthday to three important personalities in sports and sports development in Nigeria. First His Royal Highness (HRH), OBA ABDULRAZAQ AFOLABI IYIOLASEMI, Olojoku of Ojoku. Second is the late Obalowu Keke, and thirdly, Asisat Oshoala third time winner of African Women’s Footballer of the Year award.

“Olojoku is the patron of Kwara state Cyclists Association and consistent supporter of my annual birthday cycling/fitness activity.  Obalowu was the former staff of Kwara State Sports Ministry. He was a passionate cyclist. He died on duty as a result of a ghastly auto accident three years ago, while on a trip to buy bicycles for a cycling competition. May his soul Rest in Peace. Next year we are launching an annual cycling competition in his memory. The third time victory of Nigeria national team star Asisat Oshoala shows that we must invest on the education and development of girl child as much as we do so for boys in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” he added 

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