By Dike Onwuamaeze and Chris Uba
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two central labour organisations in the country – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) – in Abuja today.
The pact is aimed at forming a coalition between NECA and the labour unions to address the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic disease in the workplace and its impact on the country as a whole.
This was disclosed in Lagos by the Director-General of NECA, Dr. Timothy Olawale. He noted that the collaboration was necessitated by the need to pool initiatives and actions in the fight against COVID-19 and any other external threat to Nigerian businesses and workers in the private and public sectors as social partners, whose overall interest is enterprise-competitiveness, protection of workers’ rights and development of country’s economy.
Olawale stated that: “The COVID-19 pandemic has done significant damage to businesses and changed the dynamics of the world of work. As employers and workers are both directly affected by the pandemic, it became necessary to work together in addressing the critical labour and socio-economic issues arising from the pandemic, especially from the perspective of the work-place.”
He observed that the effects of the pandemic have taken the rate of corporate fatalities and job losses due to a worrisome level with “an alarming large scale negative consequences for our country.”
He also commended the parties to the MoU and stated that the signing of the MoU would be done by the NECA, the NLC and the TUC with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as witness.
The director general said the coalition would continue to work together even in the post-COVID-19 era to develop programmes with government and other stakeholders that would ensure business sustainability, competitiveness, creation of decent jobs and rapid national development.
He said: “Today heralds greater understanding, collaboration and mutual respect between employers and workers and provide a joint platform to constructively engage government in the advocacy for a favourable business environment that will aid economic recovery in the short term and in the post COVID-19 era.”