By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
As the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in Kaduna State entered its third day on Wednesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has invited the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai and the leadership of the NLC led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba for a meeting on Thursday.
The meeting is scheduled to hold at the Conference Hall of the Minister’s Office, Abuja by 11 am.
A statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, said the Minister has apprehended the strike.
The statement explained that the invitation to the two parties involved in the trade dispute, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam El-Rufai and top officials of the State as well as the NLC President and top leaders to an emergency meeting was for the amicable resolution of the contentious issues.
Akpan in the statement said, “The Minister further directed the two parties to maintain the status quo ante bellum pending the resolution of the issues in contention.”
The letters separately addressed to both the Governor of Kaduna State and the President of the NLC read in part:
“ Sequel to the strike prompted by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) one of the federations of Trade Unions in Nigeria, and the subsequent withdrawal of work and services in almost all public sector establishments and institutions in Kaduna State, including but not limited to the essential services in electricity, water and health, which has consequently resulted and inflicted huge damage and loss to the economy and well-being and even loss of lives to the people of Kaduna State in the last three days.
“ I am therefore constrained in the exercise of my powers as the Minister of Labour and Employment, under the Trade Disputes Act, CAP. T8, Laws of Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004; to invite you and your top officials to the emergency trade dispute conciliation meeting.”
The letter emphasized further,“ between the transition period for the meeting, you are please requested to maintain the status quo ante bellum this dispute so that the enabling climate for the resolution of the issues in dispute will not be hindered by the creation of new issues.”