The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has affirmed that the Federal Government will not restrain the activities of the organized labour union but will continue to engage the union through social dialogue in the spirit of tripartism.
Addressing a delegation of the organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) led by the Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Valetine Udeh on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja recently, the Minister disclosed that:
“The Federal Government of Nigeria does not believe in curbing the activities of the organized labour union, because our constitution in section 40 allows for freedom of association to form trade unions with people of like minds. It is the same law that gave birth to the formation of political parties that also empowered the formation of labour unions, hence President Muhammadu Buhari will never tamper with the activities of the Unions” the Minister emphasized.
Speaking further Ngige said that the Federal Government is committed to working in synergy with the two active labour centres in Nigeria who are also dynamic members of OATUU with many affiliate unions
The Minister however called on OATUU to work out modalities on how to facilitate the review of its relationship with the Federal Government mostly in terms of funding in view of the ongoing review of the list of international organizations and associations the country belong to.
According to him, “the Federal Government recently decided to review the list of international organizations and association which the country will belong. This is because of the fact that the payments of subvention and statutory contributions to such organizations have started taking toll on the Federal Treasury. Luckily for us it is grants that we give to OATUU and we feel very comfortable telling you our strength and weakness so that we can make progress”
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation, Deputy Secretary General, Comrade Valetine Udeh stated that the visit which was at the behest of the Minister was to discuss the review of subvention to OATUU by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He expressed the appreciation of the union to the support it received from the Federal Government of Nigeria and avowed the commitment of the Pan African Organization to continue to cater for the wellbeing of the continent’s workforce.