Lagos, Aug. 1, 31, 2023: As labour unions mull nationwide strike Wednesday, Mr Issa Aremu, Director General (DG), Michael Imoudu National Institute For Labour Studies (MINILS), has urged the Federal Government and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to embrace dialogue.
“Labour and the Federal Government must continue to dialogue and reason together to prevent avoidable nationwide strike and protests,” Aremu said on Monday.
Aremu spoke at the First Collaborative Workshop organised by the Institute for Staff and Management of National Assembly in Lagos.
The workshop was tagged: ” Collaborative Workshop on Building Harmonious Labour-Management Relationship on a Contemporary Legislative Institution”.
“I will like to say that the proposed protest is still avoidable and preventable if labour and government can learn to reason together.
“I can see the two parties advocating their own sides of the situation.
“It is time for us to avoid polarisation, avoid fighting; it is not too late for them to sit together and resolve the difference,” he said.
The DG said the removal of fuel subsidy was already agreed upon by majority of Nigerians.
“The issue now is how we shall manage the gap from regime of subsidy to deregulation; just a transition that will be fair to all.
“It is now clear that deregulation has affected cost of living negatively; inflation has come up.
“It is now the responsibility of all stakeholders to make sure that this policy doesn’t lead to a winner takes it all situation.
“We need a just transition that must address the plight of the citizens which are the organised labour,” he said.
On the workshop, Aremu said: “We are here to build capacity for the staff of the National Assembly as well as the management, on how to promote harmonious relationship with the National Assembly (NASS).
“The more than 200 staff and management of NASS will brainstorm on work ethics, occupational safety, awareness of labour laws and procedures for restoring disputes in the world of work.
“By conducting this programme, we are enlightening the workers to know their rights.
“By the time they are through with the programme, there will be better understanding and relationship with management of NASS so that there will be steaminess legislative process without disruption,” he said.
He commended the management of NASS for committing resources for the capacity building.
Mrs Mienye Badejo, the Zonal Director, South-West, Federal Ministry of Labour, who represented the Permanent Secretary at the event, said the ministry was excited at the innovation.
According to her, the workshop shows the push the ministry and the institute have towards bridging the gap between the staff and management of the NASS.
She said that understanding and bridging the knowledge gap is necessary.
Dr Ahmed Abubakar, the Head, Corporate Affairs, NASS, who represented the Clerk, said the workshop was toward industrial harmony to fill in the gap between industrial labour and NASS.
According to him, this is the first time in the history of NASS that more than 200 staff and management of the Assembly are talking directly to one another.
“We are seeing harmony in all staff of NASS; the labour unions are here, management and staff are also here,” he said.