Kaduna Govt Must Dialogue With Labour – FG

FG has spent N15.8bn on hazard allowances — Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige

The Federal Government has said that Kaduna and any other state must dialogue with the organised labour as enshrined in the International Labour Organisation Conventions, to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated this while presiding over the ongoing meeting between Kaduna State Government and the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja on Thursday.

He said though labour has a right to go on strike according to the provisions of the law, it should not obstruct the provision of essential services.

The minister, however, said should he failed to reconcile both NLC and the Kaduna State Government within one week, the matter will be transferred to a higher authority as prescribed by the Trade Unions Dispute Act.

In his opening remarks, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Jafaru Sani who is leading the state delegation jointly with the State Head of Service, Bariatu Mohammed, said that the national minimum wage was being implemented in the state along with public service reform policies.

He said over 7,000 teachers have been recruited to fill in vacancies, noting that the public service consumes “N4 out of every N5 received from revenue sources.”

He said the NLC strike and protest came as a rude shock to the state government and condemned what he described as a violation of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, by NLC members who allegedly obstructed economic activities in the state.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba said the labour movement was committed to social dialogue, collective bargaining arrangement and tripartism.

According to him, redundancy was declared in Kaduna State in the implementation of the right-sizing policy without engaging labour and without payment of due entitlements to the disengaged workers.

“Before any sack is contemplated, the government must first engage the workers’ unions. The strike was last resort since letters sent to the state government had not received responses,” he explained.

The meeting has since entered into a technical section.

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