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NEC to Labour: Please suspend your planned nationwide strike, embrace dialogue

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“The welfare of Nigerian workers would form part of the issues President Tinubu would address in his maiden Independence Day broadcast on Sunday”

The National Economic Council (NEC) has made a passionate appeal to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their plan to shut down the nation’s economy beginning from Tuesday, October 3.

The appeal followed a warning by the Organized Labour to declare an indefinite strike on Tuesday to pressure the Bola Tinubu administration to accede to their demands with regard to fuel subsidy removal since May 29, 2023 at President Tinubu’s inauguration.

Speaking with State House correspondents on Thursday shortly after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Plateau Gov. Caleb Muftwang pleaded for more time to enable the federal government to resolve the issues.

He also urged labour leaders to continue to dialogue with the government.

According to Mutfwang, the welfare of Nigerian workers would form part of the issues President Tinubu would address in his maiden Independence Day broadcast on Sunday.

“Council noted the notice by the national leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress to proceed on an indefinite strike from October 3, 2023.

“The Council noted further the implication of this strike for the economy and the nation and thus urged members to continue to engage with their respective states’ leadership and appeal to them to shelve the action and continue on the path of dialogue with the federal government. This is the appeal of the council.

“NEC actually expressed genuine concern on the situation in the country and appreciates the concern by Labour to have those issues addressed. That is why NEC is appealing for patience, appealing for time to be able to address the concerns of Labour.

“We also believe that Mr. President will be addressing the nation first of October and some of the concerns of Labour will be appropriately addressed in the President’s speech.

“It is therefore important that… it’s a federation, so whatever happens, Labour is represented in all the 36 states and the FCT and NEC is appealing that discussions should continue at the state levels because there will be peculiarities as to the issues to be addressed concerning the demands of Labour, therefore dialogue is the way to go,” the governor said.

Warning that any further strike would damage the economy, Mutfwang added: “The nation is at a very critical moment at this time. In some of the states, when they took over on May 29, the workers were on strike. Some of those issues have just been resolved for the workers to return to work.

“To ask them to go back immediately, it is going to damage the economy further.

Therefore NEC, while expressing genuine concern about the situation in the country, appeals for calm and patience.

“I want to believe that the leadership across the nation at this point in time wants to truly address the issues that concern Labour and the general populace and move the country forward.”

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