The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, has charged the Agriculture and Allied Employees’ Union of Nigeria (AAEUN) to support the Buhari-led administration in its bid to rejuvenate the economy.
Ngige stated this at the 3rd National Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of AAEUN in Dutse on Saturday.
According to him, the Federal Government (FG), under President Muhammadu Buhari, is committed to creating jobs for the teeming unemployed through agriculture. “We are also concerned with good governance and increased productivity in the work places. “We believe this could only be achieved through social dialogue among social partners who are the catalyst for maintenance of industrial peace and harmony in work places.
“This will, in turn, lead to increase in productivity; a sine qua non for socio-economic growth of the country,” he said.
Ngige said that the frequent mobilisation of union members for protests and strikes had become antiquated; a weapon of trade unionism he described as inimical to the growth of the economy.
He, therefore, charged the members to always use social dialogue in pressing home their demands, instead of being confrontational.
While giving his welcome address, Governor Muhammad Baderu of Jigawa said the conference was an opportunity for members, as professionals, to assess his achievements, particularly in relation to agriculture.
Baderu, represented by his deputy, Ibrahim Hassan, said AAEUN could use the opportunity to assess the support given by the state government to agriculture, not as a tradition or a social sector, but as a business.
The governor described agriculture as the only business capable of helping the country to diversify its economy, reduce dependence on food importation, create jobs and revive the rural areas.
Earlier in his speech, the union’s National President, Mr Simon Anchaver, called on Nigerians to see agriculture as a way out of the present frustration being faced by the people due to the economic challenges.
Anchaver commended the Jigawa governor for the supply and distribution of Bio-fortified varieties of seeds to farmers, the distribution of motorcycles to extension workers and the procurement of fertilisers to farmers.
He also appreciated the state government for its cluster farming programme, rice farming project and the prompt payment of salaries and pension to serving and retired civil servants respectively, amongst others.
Newsmen report that the national conference had in attendance delegates from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).