Any Strike Action Will Worsen Nigeria’s Economy, NGF Tells Organised Labour – Newspot


NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has cautioned the organised labour against embarking on industrial action.

The warning was contained in a communique issued on Friday by the NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

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Tambuwal argued that any plan to down tools will worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On the call for national strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Forum believes that the labour unions should exercise caution on the call for strike action, noting that any strike action will worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the communique partly read.

“While expressing concern over the call for national strike action by the  Nigeria  Labour  Congress  (NLC)  and  the  Trade  Union  Congress (TUC),  Forum  members  suggested  the  provision  of  a  cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal.”

 

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE

Communiqué ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 18th TELECONFERENCE (EMERGENCY MEETING) OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON THURSDAY, 24TH SEPTEMBER 2020

  1. The Emergency  Meeting  was  convened  to  deliberate  on  two  key issues – ALGON Vs FAAC: deduction of LGC statutory allocation for the construction of primary healthcare centers in each of the 774 LGAs; and the NLC & TUC call for a national strike action over the recent increase in  the  pump  price  of  Premium  Motor  Spirit  (PMS)  and  increase  in Electricity Tariff.
  2. Governors expressed  serious  concern  over  deductions  from  the Federation  Allocation  of  the  774  local  governments  of  the  country  to construct and equip healthcare centres in each local government area on behalf  of  the  Association  of  Local  Government  Areas  of  Nigeria (ALGON);
  3. The Forum  rejected  the  legality  and  the  legitimacy  of  the  contract including all financing arrangements;
  4. On the call for a national strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Forum believes that the labour unions should  exercise  caution  on  the  call  for  a  strike  action, noting  that  any  strike  action  will  worsen  the  currently  deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  5. While expressing concern over the call for a national strike action by the Nigeria Labour  Congress  (NLC)  and  the  Trade  Union  Congress (TUC),  Forum  members  suggested  the  provision  of  a  cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal;
  6. Governors confirmed during the meeting that an Industrial Court had barred Labour from  embarking  on  its  planned  industrial  action  but nevertheless decided to  use  the intervening period to  mediate  between the stakeholders.1

Communiqué  After  a  long  and  arduous  deliberation  on  the  two  issues,  the  Forum Resolved to:

  1. Call on  the  Minister  for  Finance  and  the Accountant  General  of  the Federation not to disburse to receiving entities monies already deducted for  the  construction  of  primary  healthcare  centers  in  each  of  the  774 LGAs, and that further deductions should be halted forthwith;
  2. Constitute a Committee comprising the Governors of Ekiti (Chairman), Ebonyi, Delta, Gombe, Plateau, and Kano States to represent State and local governments on the matter. The Committee will also approach Mr. President, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, the National Judicial  Council  and  the  Minister  of  Finance,  Budget  and National Planning to appeal against the judgement;
  3. Intercede with the Labour Unions, the Federal Government and other stakeholders and especially call labour to exercise caution in its plan to embark on an  indefinite  strike  action,  noting  that  any  such  action  will worsen  the  already  deteriorating  economic  situation  of  the  workers brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  4. Set up a Committee made up of the Governors of Jigawa (Chairman), Nasarawa, Ogun, Kwara, Gombe, Abia and Bayelsa  States  to  interface with  the  National  Economic  Council,  the  Labour  Unions  and  relevant stakeholders  for  the  overall  interest  of  the  nation.  The  NGF  Secretariat will  provide  relevant  support  to  the  Committee  on  the  details  of  the mechanism for deregulation put in place by the federal government;
  5. Call for an Emergency NEC meeting as soon as the Committee comes up with a common position on the deregulation of both the petroleum and power sectors and the figures laid bare for all to see;

Finally,  members  advised  that  any  position  taken  by  the  Forum  should not  be  seen  to  be  contrary  or  injurious  to  the  position  State  Governors 2

Communiqué  have  always  maintained  in  support  of  deregulation.  Governors  insisted that subsidy in the petroleum sector, apart from promoting corruption in petroleum  pricing  and  distribution,  brings  about  loss  of  revenues  to  the three tiers of government and loss of jobs to the populace.

 

Meeting held from 6pm – 7:30pm.

          Signed

Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

Governor of Sokoto and Vice Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum



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