Strike will worsen the economic situation, govs tell NLC

THE thirty- six state governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF have called on the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC to exercise caution in its planned nation wide strike and mass protest, warning that such an action if carried out, would worsen the deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by COVID-19 pandemic.

Rising from the 18th Teleconference Emergency Meeting, the governors have set up a seven member committee to brainstorm with the National Economic Council, NEC, the Nigeria Labour, NLC, major Stakeholders and other Nigerians to address the issue.

The Committee which is chaired by the Jigawa State governor, Badaru Abubakar, has governors Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara; Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe; Okezie Victor Ikpeazu of Abia and Douye Diri of Bayelsa as members.

In a Communique signed at the end of the emergency meeting by the NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the forum resolved that the NGF Secretariat will provide relevant  support to the committee on the details  of the mechanism for deregulation put in place by the federal government.

The governors said that “On the call for a national strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Forum believes that the labour unions should exercise  caution on the call  for a strike  action, noting  that  any strike action  will worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic;

“While expressing concern over the call for a national strike action by the  Nigeria Labour  Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Forum members suggested  the  provision  of a cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal.”

The Governors have also agreed to hold an Emergency NEC meeting as soon as the committee comes up with a common position on the deregulation of both the petroleum and power sectors and the ûgures laid bare for all to peruse and then take a common position.

At the meeting, the Governors also expressed serious concern over deductions from the Federation Allocation of the 774 local governments of the country to construct and equip healthcare centres in each local government area on behalf of the  Association of  Local  Government Areas of Nigeria (ALGON).

Consequently, the Forum constituted a committee made up of Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi as Chairman, with Governors David Umahi of Ebonyi; Simon Lalong of Plateau; Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano and Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe as members to represent State and local governments on the matter.

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