Nationwide Strike: NASS Leaders Engage in Crucial Talks with Labour Leaders to Avert It

By Joke Kujenya

HIGH-STAKES NEGOTIATIONS are taking the center stage as the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, convened a pivotal meeting with organized labour representatives in a last-ditch effort to prevent a looming nationwide strike scheduled for Monday.

The gathering, held on Sunday at the National Assembly, saw the presence of key figures including the leadership of both chambers, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, and the Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, among other notable attendees.

Senator Akpabio, speaking on behalf of the assembly, accentuated the urgency of the situation, emphasizing the critical need for dialogue to forge a consensus between the government and labour unions.

He highlighted the significant efforts already undertaken by the executive branch, including the establishment of a dedicated committee tasked with negotiating with labour representatives.

“We recognize the gravity of the situation and acknowledge the importance of reaching a resolution amidst ongoing negotiations,” remarked Senator Akpabio. “Our objective today is to provide a platform for all parties to voice their concerns and aspirations. It is imperative that we find common ground to address the pressing issue of the minimum wage.”

Echoing similar thoughts, Speaker Abbas reaffirmed the National Assembly’s commitment to standing alongside both the government and the labour unions.

He stressed the assembly’s role as the ‘People’s Parliament,’ advocating for measures to alleviate the burdens faced by ordinary citizens.

“We are fully cognizant of the challenges facing our nation, and we acknowledge the necessity of a living wage to combat systemic issues such as corruption,” Speaker Abbas articulated. “While we recognize the complexities involved, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of equitable solutions that uplift every Nigerian worker.”

The President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, extended gratitude to the National Assembly for their intervention, emphasizing the collective responsibility shared by all stakeholders in addressing the wage issue.

“Our goal is not just for the labour unions, but for the entirety of Nigeria,” asserted Comrade Ajaero. “We are resolute in our pursuit of a fair and sustainable wage that ensures the well-being of all citizens.”

As discussions continue till the time of this report, stakeholders remain hopeful for a constructive dialogue that paves the way for a mutually beneficial agreement.

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