“But for now, the issue of discussion is no longer strike, the issue of discussion is implementation and how far it is gone and how far it affects Nigerian workers and the general population.”
That was Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, as he weighed in on the strike action called by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) for workers in Nigerian to embark on strike as well as picket both the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited over the scarcity of the Naira and continued fuel scarcity across the country.
Ngige, who said talks has begun to halt the action, maintained that his stepping into the dispute meant that the strike would be shelved for the time being.
It is coming on the expiration of the deadline giving by the leadership of the organised labour in the country, which led to a directive to public sector workers in the country to embark on strike by Wednesday.
The Minister, who spoke to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said the CBN had already taken steps to address the naira scarcity situation, adding that the NLC was already reviewing the situation to chart a way forward.
His words: “They said they will call up their national executive council meeting because the initial decision to give that ultimatum was given by this same council,” Ngige said.
“Members of the council reside in the states and in the local governments so they will come up today, which is Tuesday, the 28th, to review the situation because much as it is, the important thing is that we have emphasised to them that we have apprehended this dispute.
“By section 7:8 of trade dispute act, once the minister apprehends and starts conciliation on it, you maintain status quo ante bellum. So they have gone back now to review the situation. If they’re not satisfied with what they see, they will come back to me and I will invite the CBN again.
“So that is it, the final decision will be done today by NEC and they will then do a resolution, of course, inform me and CBN what their resolution is. But like I said, we have apprehended and we are now conciliating.”