The leadership of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has called on Federal Government to try all efforts to prevent the planned nationwide strike by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Speaking on behalf of the five business groups, which are under the umbrella of OPS: 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), the director general of NECA, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, noted that, any strike at this period in time will bring more harm to the already battered economy.
Noting that the nation’s economy has already been de-marketed, Oyerinde stated that: “government and labour need to understand that our economy is being de-marketed and the livelihood of the average Nigerian is being diminished by this incessant bickering. One is beginning to wonder if the wellbeing of more than 200 million Nigerians is being factored into their negotiations.”
According to Oyerinde, “While recognising the right of the Labour Union to pursue the welfare of its members, we continue to implore the Government to employ it’s 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.
“We opine that adequate consideration should be given to the dire state of the economy and the possible unintended consequences of social unrest that may result from the protests.”
Moreover, Oyerinde, while appreciating “the deep concern of our members about the imminent strike, we urge the management to be circumspective 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.”
Furthermore, he called on both parties and OPS 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 its business projection and activities. “There should be some innovation around how the conversation between the government and labour will not always end up in holding the economy hostage.
“The unintended consequence on the fortune of the average business and people of Nigeria is unwarranted and becoming too high. Government should demonstrate good faith in keeping to its promises during the negotiations and abstain from making promises they cannot or do not intend to keep.
“On the other hand, labour should do a realistic assessment of its demands, within the context of prevailing economic realities, while going the extra mile to indicate how its demands could be met. I look forward to a time that labour would extend the scope of its demands to include recommendations on how government can meet those demands, with implementation strategies and realistic timelines. Governance is a collective effort and all the segments of the society should realistically hold government accountable and demand improved wellbeing of the people,” he pointed out.