It is true that the removal of fuel subsidy has heaped intolerable levels of hardship on Nigerian workers and households, with businesses also feeling the heat. We have witnessed an astronomical increase in the cost of living, with no relief in sight. Rising inflation has further exacerbated our woes.
Certainly, the agitation of organized Labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is expected. We, indeed, express our empathy to all Nigerians who have been affected by the current policy thrusts of government, which are yet to yield the expected results. Indeed, there are reports of business closures and many others forced to reduce capacity utilization.
While we understand the genuine concerns of Labour, a strike action at a time when the economy and businesses are barely struggling is not in the best interests of all and sundry. It will, also, not bring about any positive resolution. Conversely, we expect the Government to, as a matter of urgency, be more transparent, communicate more and resume talks with Labour in order to build consensus. We also expect that definitive conclusions should be reached, and clear roadmaps communicated to Stakeholders.
In line with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 131 on Minimum Wage Fixing, the Tripartite discussions on National minimum wage negotiation should commence immediately.
NECA will continue to champion Social Dialogue as the principal means of resolving industrial dispute, while also urging Stakeholders, including Government to demonstrate responsibility and good faith in engagements with Stakeholders, given our fragile economic circumstances.