–Set up 10-member c’ttee
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA–THE Federal Government yesterday brokered a truce between the Kaduna State Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, in the ongoing face-off between the two parties.
Recall that the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige had on Wednesday sent an invitation letter to the two parties for a meeting to resolve the unrest between the two.
At the conciliation meeting which lasted for about five hours, at the Minister’s office in Abuja, the two parties reached an agreement.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the two disputing parties and top officials of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Senator Ngige said they exhaustively and extensively deliberated on all the issues in dispute, bordering on the retrenchment of workers by the Kaduna State Government.
He said they 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 should apply.
According to the Minister, the contentious issues that were looked into included 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 said the meeting also recognized that the current impasse was caused by a communication gap between the State Government and NLC occasioned by both the local chapter and even the Kaduna State Government officials.
He said in view of the foregoing, the meeting resolved 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 resolve the impasse between the State Government and the NLC.
He said, “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 were 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.
Others are 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.