The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has taken steps to avert the impending nationwide strike of the Nigeria Labour Congress, billed to commence on Wednesday.
The labour union had threatened to embark on the nationwide industrial action, if the cash crunch, fuel scarcity and electricity tariff increase were not addressed.
In response to the strike threat by the NLC, Ngige invited the leadership of the NLC and the Central Bank of Nigeria management to a meeting in his office on Monday, to resolve their differences.
The 10-man delegation of the NLC was led by its President, Joe Ajaero, and the General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, while the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, was accompanied by two Deputy Governors, Kingsley Obiora (Economic Policy) and Ade Shonubi (Organised Private Sector).
Making his opening remarks, Ngige refuted the allegation by the NLC that his mnistry did nothing about the matter.
He said on receiving the letter from NLC, he forwarded same to the CBN Governor before travelling out of the country for an International Labour Organisation Governing Board meeting and directed the Permanent Secretary and Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations Department to follow up.
On his own part, Emefiele said when he received the letter from the labour ministry, he called the President of NLC to brief him on steps taken to alleviate the sufferings of the masses.
He said he went further to have a meeting with the NLC president, which he said resulted in the large volume of funds made available to the deposit money banks.
Ajaero urged the CBN to improve their services, regretting the information gap created in the implementation of the naira redesign.
He said, “The NLC could not have stopped CBN from taking good decisions and implementing them in the interest of the nation. If stakeholders were invited and briefed on the policy, when the people complain, NLC would explain everything to them. But in this case, the CBN did it alone. Moreover, it is a wrong time for administering such a national policy.”
He said the National Executive Committee of NLC will meet today to decide on the planned strike.