Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said that it will go on with today’s planned protest in Abuja against the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, despite the explanation given by the presidency on reasons for the delay in inuagurating the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).
The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba who spoke in a telephone interview yesterday said today’s protest will be to show labour’s displeasure over the alleged abridgement of worker’s right to picketing by Ngige.
“The protest for tomorrow is essentially about Ngige’s trying to abridge the rights of workers to protest and also sending thugs to attack workers,” he said.
Wabba said the statement by the presidency expressing support for the minister’s delay to inaugurate the NSITF’s board was coming late.
“It is most unfortunate; we expected that this response should have come earlier than now. In fact, we would not have wasted our energy in fighting.
“So, clearly speaking, this is our position and it is very late and why should only this labour market institution now be singled out and also received such a treatment that everyone in one country knows such a thing is going on?.
“The issue has dragged on for two and half years. The response is certainly coming late. We ought to have known the position of government.
Wabba also disagreed with federal government’s position that NSITF is essentially a goverment-owned establishment, saying the reason the labour has two statutory members and NECA has two representatives on its board is because it is a labour market institution.