Don’t Embark On Strike Now – Reps Speaker Begs NLC

He said the NLC appeared to have run out of patience with the plans being put in place by the government for wage increases and palliatives for workers.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen has begged organised Labour not to go on its planned strike.

Tajudeen speaking on Tuesday, September 26 said any strike at this juncture would worsen an already challenging situation in the country.

Abbas, who spoke while addressing members of the House on resumption from their two-month break, said the organised Labour should give the parliament more time to engage the executive on issues raised by them.

He said the NLC appeared to have run out of patience with the plans being put in place by the government for wage increases and palliatives for workers.

He acknowledged the hardship being faced by the Nigerian people as a result of the harsh economic environment in the country and the removal of petroleum subsidy.

The speaker said: “Our economic challenges remain as daunting as they were before the recess. The country is challenged on several economic fronts: the cost of living crisis occasioned by the high cost of energy, the cost of food is skyrocketing daily, lack of livable wages, the negative effects of the unpredictable and fluctuating foreign exchange rates, a disappearing middle class and a host of other issues.

“When people are hungry and despondent, what is needed is a leadership with a clear vision, a leadership that on a daily basis, demonstrates its commitment and capacity to tackle the challenges at hand; a leadership that should be innovative in proffering short and long-term solutions.

“That is what Nigerians need at this time and as Representatives of the people, we must rise up to the occasion.

“While the Executive Arm of government is engaging the citizens and trying to work out strategies to tackle the hardship in the country, our legislative actions must therefore be dictated by a clear robust vision aimed at supporting the Executive in restoring our citizens on the path of prosperity.

“We must deploy the necessary legislative instruments to create jobs, ensure payment of living wages in the civil service, pull Nigerians out of poverty, address the prevailing infrastructure deficit, rid the country of crippling insurgency; ensure the security of lives and property and affordable functional education so that no child is left behind.

He further stated: “On account of these economic challenges, the organized labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) seems to have lost patience with the painstaking effort of the government to plan and provide sustainable minimum wage and palliatives to citizens.

“The organized labour it appears would embark on a nationwide strike by this midnight following the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum issued to the government. As the people’s representatives, we feel and equally share in the pains of our people at these very difficult times.

“However, I would like to appeal to the Nigerian Labour Congress to consider the various actions being taken by the Federal Government to alleviate the current hardship faced by Nigerians.

“As promised earlier, this House remains committed to getting a survival wage to all Nigerian workers.

“The 10th House had assured Nigerians that we would be interfacing between the organized labour and the government to quickly work out a realistic new national minimum wage and such other palliatives to enable citizens to cope with the economic impact of fuel subsidy removal, the downward fall of the naira to the dollar, skyrocketing cost of food and general high cost of living in the country.

“It is our considered opinion that embarking on a nationwide strike at this point will only aggravate an already bad situation. I therefore urge the leadership of Labour Unions to give us the benefit of the doubt and suspend any planned strike action while we engage the executive.”

 

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