James Ojo, Abuja
Nigeria’s Organised Labour movement took a practical step yesterday to minimise job cuts from the COVID-19 pandemic by signing a Memorandum of Understanding MOU with the Organised Private Sector.
The MOU was signed between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA).
Speaking at the ceremony, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said it had become necessary to save jobs from the negative economic impact of the pandemic. “Today’s event is another testament to the growth and development of social dialogue, cooperation and tripartite engagement in Nigeria. This is borne out of the understanding that businesses and workers are siamese twins with mutually shared interests and aspirations. Unfortunately, nothing has in recent times threatened the shared interests and aspirations of both employers of labour and workers like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The disease had successfully put the entire global socioe-conomic system on almost complete lockdown for the past three months. The impact on businesses, workers and livelihood has been monumental.
According to a report released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in March 2020, an estimated 25 million people globally were expected to lose their jobs to the pandemic. I am sure that figure was based on early assessment of the situation,” he stated.
Wabba declared that the world and indeed Nigeria are in dire times with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health and business which are humongous, hence the urgency to enter into social partners with employers of Labour by developing a shared perspective aimed at mitigating the storms ahead.
“It is gratifying that this MoU has successfully identified critical areas of mutual needs, collaboration and efforts that would enable the social partners address the fallout of COVID-19 in our country.