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January 17, 2024

FG to fulfil agreement entered into with organised Labour – Minister

Onyejeocha

The Federal Government has pledged to fulfil its agreements with organised labour.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, made this known during a courtesy visit to the office of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Onyejeocha said the visit to some of the major trade unions was to maintain open communication, foster labour relations aimed at preventing future strikes, and ensure a friendly working environment for workers.

She said that the government appreciates the plight of the trade unions and is ready to partner, but the channels of communication must be kept open.

“I am here specifically to reassure you that we have not forgotten about the agreements between the government and trade unions.

“Government is working round the clock to ensure that agreements with trade unions are fulfilled.

“Thank God that you have confirmed that the federal government has started paying the N35,000 wage award.

“I can assure you that the payment is on course and the outstanding will be paid within a short time,” she said.

She also said that President Bola Tinubu was focusing on making sure that the issue of a new national minimum wage was addressed.

Onyejeocha added that the federal government would ensure that the committee starts work.

”I do not want to wait for any stakeholder to start agitating; that is why I came to remind you that we are working to make sure they are fulfilled.

“If there is any that we cannot fulfil now, including the past ones, we will continue our engagements on them,” the minister said.

Onyejeocha assured the TUC leadership of the government’s continued readiness to listen to them as well as partner with them for the greater good of the people.

She also commended them for having faith in the government.

Earlier, Mr Festus Osifo, the TUC President, commended the minister for her timely and thoughtful visit.

Osifo said the minister’s visit would go a long way towards building trust and mutual understanding between the government and the union.

He commended the government for some of the major steps taken so far, specifically for fulfilling up to 80 per cent of the agreement with the management of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

The TUC president, however, urged the government to fulfil the remaining 20 per cent of that agreement.

“We are not a union that waits for the government to fail to hold it to ransom. That is why we keep engaging,” Osifo said.

In a related development, during a meeting with the leadership of the Congress of University Academics (CONUA), Onyejeocha assured them of the government’s willingness to work with unions.

The minister said that the government was ready to address their concerns satisfactorily.

Also, Mr Niyi Sunmonu, the CONUA Chairman, explained some of the challenges facing the union.

Sunmonu therefore urged the government to expedite the implementation.

He assured the government of a strike-free future with continued government understanding and commitment. (NAN)

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