President of NECA, Richard Unche
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has called for an urgent reform of the nation’s industrial relations system, in order to enthrone rule of law and promote productivity.
President of NECA, Chief Richard Unche, made the call at the recent 55th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association held in Lagos, and described the current dispensation as the worst in the annals of industrial relations in the country.
He argued that the current clime was characterised by flagrant disobedience of court orders, spontaneous and illegal strikes, vandalisation of company properties in the name of strike and disrespect for union jurisdictional scope.
He called on the Federal Ministry of Labour to rise up to the challenge and restore the tripartite enthronement of rule of law and reciprocal respect of right as espoused by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Unche also called for an urgent revamping of the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) that has been moribund for years in order to facilitate an enhanced government effort at reforming the industrial relations system.
Speaking further, he canvassed a reduction in the cost of governance, noting that a situation where the country spends over 70 per cent of its yearly budget on recurrent expenditure, leaving less than 30 per cent for capital expenditure, was not good for the overall economy.
He said “the implication of the current development is that sustaining government administrative structures comes at a gargantuan cost to the economy, as available funds are barely sufficient to finance capital projects in vital sectors.
“Where an increasing ratio of government budget is used to support its administrative structure, poverty will abound and remain pervasive as economic growth declines or even stagnates. Enormous administrative expenditure is not only used to finance unusually large, seemingly inefficient and corrupt civil service, but also to a larger than optimal executive cabinet and an equally spendthrift legislature.
“We support the recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Council chaired by General Theophilus Danjuma, on the need for effective and optimal management of national resources. We also want speedy implementation of the Steve Orosanye’s report on this much desired rationalisation. We advise that a drastic reduction in the number of advisers, special advisers and senior special advisers at all tiers of government,” he added.
The NECA president called on government to demonstrate a renewed commitment to eradicate corruption, which he described as a monster that has continued to drain resources that would otherwise have gone into improving the wellbeing of the citizenry.