The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) and the two central labour organisations, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), will today, Monday, June 15, 2020, sign a memorandum of understanding at the NLC headquarters, Abuja, to address the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace and its impact on Nigeria as a whole.
In an event that was unprecedented in the annals of employers-labour relations in Nigeria, the umbrella body of employers in Nigeria, NECA said the MoU would enable the three parties to form a better coalition to support the economy.
Speaking in Lagos, the director-general of NECA, Dr. Timothy Olawale, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has done significant damage to businesses and changed the dynamics of the world of work.
“As employers and workers are both directly affected by the pandemic, it became necessary to work together in addressing the critical labour and socio-economic issues arising from the pandemic, especially from the perspective of the workplace,” he said.
Elaborating further on the imperative for the memorandum of association, the NECA director-general noted that as social partners, whose overall interest is enterprise-competitiveness, protection of workers’ rights and development of national economy, the desire to pool reflections, initiatives, and actions in the fight against COVID-19 and any external threat to businesses and workers in the private and public sectors necessitated the collaboration.
According to him, it is no gainsaying that the rate of enterprises fatality and job loss due to COVID-19 was worrisome, adding that the effects of the pandemic have escalated it to an alarming rate with large scale negative consequences for our nation.
While commending parties to the MoU, Olawale explained that the signing of the MoU would be done by the NECA, NLC and TUC, with the International Labour Organization (ILO), Abuja Office as witness.
He said, “This coalition will continue to work together post-COVID-19 to develop programmes with Government and other Stakeholders to ensure business sustainability and competitiveness, creation of decent jobs and rapid national development”
“Today heralds greater understanding, collaboration and mutual respect between employers and workers and provide a joint platform to constructively engage government in the advocacy for a favourable business environment that will aid economic recovery in the short term and post-COVID-19.”