The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has reiterated its call on the federal government and the labour unions to work harmoniously to avert the looming disruption of socioeconomic activities in the country.
It stated that the economic indicators are not good and simply put, the economy cannot afford a nationwide strike at this time.
The OPS comprised of five business membership organisations, namely: Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA); the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI).
In a statement endorsed by the directors-general of the five business membership organisation and released by the DG of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, he said: “we have keenly watched the back and forth consultations between the government on the one hand and the National Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on the other.
“It is evident that the series of consultations have not yielded positive results and the latter has resolved, in one way or the other, to go ahead with the protest/strike.
“We are worried that adequate consideration is not given to the dire situation of the economy and the devastating/disruptive impact that a nationwide strike will have on the country at this time.”
He stated that, “the government and labour need to understand that our economy is being de-marketed and the livelihood of the average Nigerian is being diminished by these incessant bickering. One is beginning to wonder if the wellbeing of more than 200 million Nigerians is being factored into their negotiations.
“While recognising the right of the labour union to pursue the welfare of its members, we continue to implore the Government to employ its best endeavours to reengage the leadership of the Unions and find an amicable ground to avert the imminent disruption in business activities that will attend the protest and nationwide strike.”
He added that, “we opine that adequate consideration should be given to the grim state of the economy and the possible unintended consequences of social unrest that may result from the protests.”
Ajayi-Kadir urged “the management to be circumspect in their business operations, as we continue to intervene in last minute attempts to avert the strike. Adequate measures should be taken to protect company assets and contingency plans be made to keep business afloat.”
He also said, it is important to begin to have a conversation around how the labour unions and the government can resolve their issues without jeopardizing the livelihood of the average Nigerian and truncating our business projection and activities.
“We look forward to a time that labour will extend the scope of its demands to include recommendations on how government could meet those demands, with implementation strategies and realistic timelines,” OPSN stated.