Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, has appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), to show understanding with the President Bola Tinubu-led government, which he said was making concerted efforts at addressing challenges facing the nation, by shelving its planned strike action.
Addressing his colleagues on the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, the Speaker said the current economic challenges being faced by Nigerians, “the organised labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) seems to have lost patience with the painstaking effort of the government to plan and provide sustainable minimum wage and palliatives to citizens.
“The organised labour it appears would embark on a nationwide strike by this midnight following the expiration of a 21 days ultimatum issued to government. As the peoples’ representatives, we feel and equally share in the pains of our people at these very difficult times.
“However, I would like to appeal to the Nigerian Labour Congress to consider the various actions being taken by the Federal Government to alleviate the current hardship faced by Nigerians. As promised earlier, this House remains committed to getting a survival wage to all Nigerian workers. The 10th House had assured Nigerians that we would be interfacing between the organized labour and the government to quickly work out a realistic new national minimum wage and such other palliatives to enable citizens cope with the economic impact of fuel subsidy removal, the downward fall of the naira to the dollar, skyrocketing cost of food and general high cost of living in the country.
“It is in our considered opinion that embarking on a nationwide strike at this point will only aggravate an already bad situation. I therefore urge the leadership of Labour Unions to give us the benefit of doubt and suspend any planned strike action while we engage the executive”.
The Speaker has also discharged all existing Ad hoc committees of the House of their activities, giving them October 3rd deadline to turn in their reports, or handover their assigned mandates to the relevant standing committees.
“I am aware that most of the Ad-hoc Committees are yet to conclude their Reports. In the light of this development, all Ad-hoc Committees are required to conclude their assignments and submit their reports on or before 3rd of October, 2023.
“Accordingly, all Ad-hoc Committees shall cease to exist on October 3, 2023. However, in an event that any Ad-hoc Committee(s) is unable to conclude its assignment on this date, such tasks shall be yielded to the relevant Standing Committees”, he said.
Speaking further, Abbas lamented recent incidences occasioned by insecurity, recalling how few days ago, the gruesome murder of a joint team of security personnel in Ehime Mbano of Imo State, occurred,and a similar sad incident happening in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State when scores of soldiers were ambushed and gruesomely murdered by terrorists.
“Sadly, some female students of the Federal University, Gusau were abducted by terrorists while there were reports of travelers being kidnapped along the Opi-Enugu Road.
“Furthermore, Superintendent Okpolonwo Agbashim, Divisional Police Officer in Ahoada Local Government Area of Rivers State was brutally murdered by deadly cultists. In Zaria, Kaduna State, the Central Mosque collapsed, resulting in fatalities while residents of Trade More Estate in Abuja suffered extensive losses owing to a devastating perennial flood. There was equally distressing reports of attacks in communities in Plateau State. These are just a few examples of what happened as I believe some of you may have one experience or the other.
“While we mourn the loss of fellow citizens who had to pay the supreme price in the line of duty, we must condemn these attacks on the state and citizens in strongest terms. However, our best response will be the deployment of our legislative powers and instruments to ensure the security of life and property across the country”, he noted, as he charged colleagues on the tasks before the House.