NLC urges FG to end protracted strikes bedeviling tertiary education in Nigeria |

NLC urges FG to end protracted strikes bedeviling tertiary education in Nigeria

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to end the ongoing industrial action that have rendered the country’s tertiary education inactive.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, made the call in Geneva, Switzerland, recently when spoke on issue concerning social justice and decent work.

According to Wabba, the NLC has written to the Federal Government on how to end the universities’ workers strike through the use of a high-powered delegation

“We call on government to bring this strike to an end without further delay,” he said.

He said that one of the main issues in contention was the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, a salary payment platform developed by ASUU.

“I think the process has been concluded, what we are waiting for is for that process to be reconvened again and for that issue to be resolved. We opened that channel of intervention among others.

“We will be very committed in reviewing that process and making sure that our children are made to go back to school.

“The best way to resolve disputes under the ILO rule is through a social dialogue process that works and that respects collective bargaining agreements. That will be a lasting option to actually addressing some of those issues and disputes, and I think it is high time that’s done,” he said.

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Also, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has condemned those violating international labour standards in different countries and workplaces.

Wabba said, “We are appalled and opposed to the growing resistance against trade unionism through obstructions of freedom of association, freedom to organise, freedom to collectively bargain.

“The right to strike and the irresponsible violation of collective bargaining agreements especially by multinational companies is appalling,” he said.

He noted that globally, workers are concerned about the rise of fascism, ultra-nationalism, unilateralism, irresponsible capitalism, and despotism as that had threatened not only the fabrics of harmonious industrial relations but also the foundations of global peace and collective survival.

Wabba further noted that the aggression by Russia against Ukraine had turned about seven million Ukrainians into refugees, maimed and killed thousands more.

According to him, “We should be worried that the war in Ukraine almost brought the world to the doorsteps of a nuclear winter.

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“Currently, the global food and energy supply chain has been severely serrated by this war leading to hyper-inflation, hunger and destitution in many countries.

“It is workers and their families that suffer most during senseless wars like this. The working people of the world unequivocally denounce the ongoing human tragedy in Ukraine.

“We stand in solidarity with the workers and people of Ukraine. We demand a stop to the aggression now. We implore Russia to embrace dialogue,” he said.

He added that the opening statements of the Director-General of the ILO sum it up – “those who resort to war deny social justice.”

“I must add that “those who choose war admit and advertise the failure of their humanity.”

The NLC president said that succinctly put, “wars in the 21st century mock any claim to grand milestones in civilisation.

“Just as we are speaking out against the violation of the UN Charter by the aggressors in Ukraine, we also condemn those violating international labour standards in different countries and workplaces.

He, however, condemned the recent military coups in parts of Africa and Myanmar.

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“We call for the restoration of genuine democratic, plural and participatory governance in the affected countries. We call for a new social contract anchored on a human-centered approach to recovery and which prioritises decent work, social dialogue, social protection, just transition to green economy.

“That is inclusive and sustainable development and the resolve to make and operationalise Occupational Health and Safety as a fundamental right at work in line with the demands of the ILO Centenary Declaration and the Global Call to Action,” he said.

He also commended the commitment of the social partners in Nigeria for institutionalising social dialogue through the resuscitation of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC).

Wabba also noted that the tripartite structure had completed the process of reviewing of five labour laws expecting the government to forward the laws to the Nigerian parliament without delay.

He also said similarly, the NLAC had also been utilised to process ILO Convention 190 for ratification.

“We are confident that this ratification will happen very soon. Together, we can make the world a better place to live, work and raise our families,” he said.

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