President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, to meet with the organised labour unions tomorrow, and hear out their grievances on how the economy is affecting Nigerians.
The Minister told State House Correspondents on Friday, soon after he briefed the President on the state of affairs in his Ministry, that the meeting would hold in Abuja.
According to Ngige: “The President has approved for us to have a bigger government side meeting with the organized private labour; all the government institutions that have to do with the finances of government so that we meet with them and show them the books.
“So, the invitation is going out to them this afternoon, the Nigeria Labour Congress, the trade union congress and their affiliates or supporters and friends in the Civil Society Organisations.
“The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, so, I will relate more with the Chief of Staff to the President and the leadership of the unions today so that we do this meeting tomorrow.
“At the meeting, government finances, challenges and everything will be laid bare on the table. Their own fears and what they think is also good for the Nigerian people especially the workers, they will also table it so that we look at it.”
On the recent hike in electricity tariff, the Minister said that “the Electricity Regulatory Commission approved the increase based on certain electricity band R1 and R2 and even in the R2 band, you have soft bands so that we can protect the rural poor and people who are in the suburbs.
“So, we are going to look at them holistically because we want a stable labour industrial union in the country so the President has been briefed and he is in tune and has given the support to talk to everybody we need to talk to.”
Reacting to the planned strike by the tripartite unions of the non-academic staff unions of universities, Ngige said government was aware of their plans and had already invited them to a meeting, to address their concerns.