Desperate efforts were made by the Federal Government to stop the two-day warning strike that was proposed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the exacerbating economic situation in Nigeria. Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour and Employment, summoned the leadership of NLC and all relevant stakeholders to a meeting on negotiation in Abuja. Considering the interest of Nigerians, the Minister urged the organized Labour to halt the strike to permit all stakeholders to amicably work together in achieving and resolving the contending matters on ground.
Lalong stated that the news on NLC strike was first disseminated on media reports without a letter submitted to his office by NLC. The congress had previously said to embark on two days warning strike on September 5 and 6 after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting Thursday last week. The proposed action had been attributed to the hardships in the country due to the removal of fuel subsidy. However, the Labour Minister appealed to the leadership of the NLC to halt any warning strike now or subsequent ones that might worsen the situation of the people, while the bodies resolve the issues amicably.
Empowerment of Nigerians for job creation & prosperity is certain.
According to Lalong, President Bola Tinubu declared his awareness concerning the fact that implementation of some essential but challenging policies attracts a measure of suffering for all Nigerian citizens. He said that these decisions were taken by the Federal Government so as to avoid more difficulties in the country that might seem irreversible. Nevertheless, the consequences of the removal of fuel subsidy are being cushioned through gradual steps taken by the three tiers of government — federal, state and local government.
Temporary relief through palliative measures are rolled out to all Nigerians, while some of the policies are fine-tuned and planned. The President’s administration will also ensure empowerment of all people, which will enhance job opportunities and prosperity. Hence, the Minister stated that there should be a significant medium of communication with the organized labour and Nigerians which will avert the breakdown of industrial peace. He emphasized that it is prerequisite to appeal to the leadership of the NLC to stop the proposed 2-days warning strike, stating its disadvantages on citizens and Nigerian workers at large.
Policies that promote massive employment will be pursued.
Also, the Leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress was implored to be patient with the government and to give it some time to address and settle the matters holistically. According to the Minister, Mr. President recently swore in the cabinet members of this administration and they have been dutifully performing their duties, taking briefings from MDAs. Thus, he added, the Hon. Minister of State for Labour and Employment are being briefed on the issues highlighted by the MDAs. The Minister declared that the issues will be addressed soon.
He reassured all Nigerian workers that the government will address their needs, and their efforts are understood and supported. Policies that promote massive employment will not cease to be pursued by the government in all sectors, even as it evaluates the current challenges in the policies of the government. The Minister said that official communication of the NLC Communiqué after its National Executive Council Meeting has not been received, but it was received through media sources. Also, comrades of the NLC have been implored to follow due procedures of handling these issues, following the establishment of the cabinet.
Conflict between NURTW & Nigeria Police will be resolved through dialogue.
Commenting on the conflict between the leadership of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Nigeria Police, the minister affirmed that the situation will be addressed immediately. He expressed his optimism that the situation will be surmountable in line with the existing laws of the Federation and International Conventions that the country conforms to. In addition, the role of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment is significant to settling industrial relations issues. The two bodies will be called to have discussions that will begin resolving the conflict.