In recent months, our country has witnessed teething challenges, marked by industrial actions and unrest that have adversely affected the economy.
The Minister, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment Simon Lalong made this statement while in a meeting with the Nigeria Labour Congress on Monday 18th September,2023 in Abuja
“I appear before you today not just as a representative of the government, but as an advocate for constructive dialogue, aspiring to understand your concerns and working hand in hand to find lasting solutions that benefit all Nigerians,” said Lalong
The minister called upon concerned leaders of various bodies to engage in open-minded and constructive dialogue, to enable them bridge any gaps that may exist between the interests of workers and the ultimate goal of driving economic advancement.
The Minister added that in the spirit of unity and with utmost commitment to the betterment of our nation, let us seize this opportunity to listen and understand one another
I fully acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable role the NLC plays in championing the rights and welfare of our workers. Your dedication and tireless advocacy have been critical in shaping a fair and inclusive work environment and ensuring the well-being of our workforce.
“We acknowledge the valid grievances that have fueled the recent labour crisis, and we are committed to addressing them in a just and equitable manner. We must also recognize the economic realities that confront us. As we address the concerns of our workforce, we must be mindful of striking a balance that promotes economic growth and secures sustainable progress for our nation.”
Responding,the President Nigeria Labour Congress Comrade Joe Ajaero expressed his grievance that not one of the agreements with the federal government was addressed despite a series of meetings that were held.
Ajaero explained that the earlier 2-day warning strike by labour was a “product of frustration caused by the economic situation in the country.”
The NLC President said the organised labour was ready to meet with the government any time of the day to find solutions to its demands and suspend the planned strike.
NLC also seeks immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the government such as the recent hike in petrol price, increase in public school fees, release of the eight months withheld salaries of university teachers and workers as well as the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT)
Other demands include provision of Compressed Natural Gas buses, release of modalities for the N70bn for Small and Medium Enterprises, release of officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) by the police, resolution of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) crisis in Lagos.