Construction workers give FG 21 days ultimatum to resolve conflicts in sector

Construction workers under the Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA) and National Union of Civil Engineering Construction Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) have given the federal government 21 days ultimatum to resolve the current disagreement between contractors handling various civil construction projects for the federal government.

While briefing newsmen in Abuja on Friday, the National President, CCESSA Comrade Engr. Ayodeji Adeyemo and the National President – NUCECFWW, Comrade Stephen Okoro, said the two Unions will be compelled to declare industrial actions in the construction industry in Nigeria to address these issues to prevent further lose of jobs of their members.

According to them, the disagreement was as a result of unilateral imposition of new standard conditions of contracts by the Minister, contrary to the existing conditions as approved by the Bureau of public procurement (BPP).

They raised alarm that over a total number 52,000 workers are likely to loose their jobs due to the disagreement.

They said they had already lost 20,000 workers and 32,000 workers are likely to be affected.

The union is an affiliates of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) respectively are the unions representing the Senior and Junior Staff in the Industry .

They urged the Minister of Works, David Umahi; the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) and all concerned to amicably resolve the current conflict or the Unions will be compelled to declare industrial actions in the construction industry in Nigeria to address these issues to prevent further lose of jobs of our members

In his words “Some of the roads that are affected by the conflicts. They are the major roads In Nigeria being handled by major construction companies like Setraco ,Julius Berger among others .

“The sack affected women 10 per cent and about 90 per cent of men in all the number affected.

” Roads to be affected are Obajana, Abuja -Kano Road ,Bodo-Bonny Road ,East-West road being handled by Setraco and RCC.

“Also, other roads to be affected is the Lagos-Ibadan express way , Julius Berger , Zaria-Sokoto road, Edo-Auchi road being handled by Dantata and Sawoe.

“When you sack people with family and other dependents. You are only calling for more insecurity.

“Imagine, Nigeria is currently grappling with insecurity and you can imagine when 52,000 workers are laid off, then you expect the insecurity to be worse. And we don’t pray for that.

“Not only that, currently, some of our members are dying most especially the ones that are retired or sacked.

“And if you look at the way our members are living their lives now it is not encouraging at all.

“Currently, we have most of our members sleeping in the offices. They are now becoming destitutes in the nation that has government, we don’t think that can continue, so the effects are enormous.

He said the construction industry as you are aware is the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the Government, but with the recent development in the industry, we deem it necessary to let the world know of our plight in order to avoid a total collapse of an already distressed sector.

This joint press release is to alert and inform the appropriate quarters and the public at large of the developments in the construction industry and the subsequent effects.

They urged the Minister of Works that what is needed now is a form of bail out to a distressed construction sector rather than any form of conflict.

They said the two unions are also concerned about the effect of a prolong unresolved conflict on investor confidence in the stability of the country’s business environment.

They called on the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency come up with a clear policy of strict adherence to payment terms.