From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Thursday set the stage to resolve the face-off between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufaiqq
The two parties reached an agreement after a five hours conciliation meeting held in the conference room of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige. following the intervention of the Federal Government,
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the two disputing parties and top officials of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment at the end of the meeting.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Ngige said all contending issues were ‘exhaustively and extensively’ deliberated on.
He said it was agreed that all the listed issues fall within the ambit of redundancy and it was resolved that the principle of redundancy as stated in Section 20 of Labour Act, Cap L1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria be applied..
According to Ngige, the contentious issues include the compulsory retirement of workers on Grade Level 14 and above and those who have attained the age of 50 years irrespective of Grade Levels, the reduction of staff strength of Local Government to 50 in each of the 23 local government areas and casualisation of workers on Grade Level 1-6.
The Minister further disclosed that it was recognized in the meeting that the current situation in the State was a result of communication gap between the State Government and the NLC.
He disclosed that to resolve the issues, the meeting dicided to constitute a ten-man Bi-partite Committee, comprising six representatives of the Kaduna State Government and three officials of NLC to engage further with the objective of reverting back with a work plan on how to settle the squabble between the State Government and the NLC.
“The meeting resolved that the Committee should have as Chairman, the Head of Service of Kaduna State Government and assisted by a Deputy National President of the NLC. The Committee is expected to revert with the work plan for peaceful resolution of all issues in contention to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment by Tuesday, 25th May, 2021.
“The work plan is to itemize the structure and sub-structure in the state Local Government of their activities, time of commencement as envisaged, final tenure of the Committee or make recommendations if in its wisdom it thinks that the committee should be a Permanent Standing Committee.”
“In conclusion, it was agreed that there should be no further industrial action on these issues and no worker shall be victimized on account of his or her participation in the industrial action.”
The signatories to the MOU include the Head of Service, Kaduna State Government, Bariatu Yusuf Mohammed, and Commissioner for Local Government, Ja’afaru Ibrahim Sani, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and Deputy President, Najeem Usman.
Otherswere the Director, Trade Union Services, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs. Omoabie Akpan and Director of Finance and Accounts, Aloy Muoneke who represented the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.