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Govt Has ‘Apprehended’ Planned NLC Protest over Cash Scarcity, Says Ngige

Govt Has ‘Apprehended’ Planned NLC Protest over Cash Scarcity, Says Ngige

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

The Federal Government has disclosed that it has apprehended the planned protest by the organised labour centre, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), over the hardship being faced by Nigerians to access funds in the wake of the currency swap.

The NLC had last week given the federal government a seven-day ultimatum to cause the CBN and the commercial banks to end the cash scarcity, failure of which it warned of a nationwide protest and the picketing of the apex bank’s branches from Wednesday.

Speaking at a news briefing at the State House, Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, stressed that the threat of protest by the NLC against the Central Bank of Nigeria, over naira scarcity, has been arrested. 

According to him, dialogues, coordinated by his ministry, had taken place between the parties involved and the CBN had taken steps to remedy the situation.

The Minister said as at the moment, the issue to be discussed by NLC at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday would no longer be issues of protest, which he said had already been apprehended.

His words: “Now they have all answered our calls because we are the Chief Conciliators. In my opening remark, I said I’ve noticed that there’s already a dialogue going on and there’s also implementation and the Nigerian Labour Congress agreed that there was some thawing at the surface of the icing that was there.

“They said they will call up their National Executive Council meeting because the initial decision to give that ultimatum was given by this same Council. Members of the Council reside in the states and in the local governments, so that they will come up today, which is Tuesday, the 28th, to review the situation because much as it is, the important thing is that we have emphasised to them that we have apprehended this dispute.

“By Section 7:8 of Trade Dispute Act, once the Minister apprehends and starts conciliation on it, you maintain status quo ante bellum. So they have gone back now to review the situation. If they’re not satisfied with what they’re see, they will come back to me and I’ll invite the CBN again.

“But for now, the issue of discussion is no longer strike, the issue of discussion is implementation and how far it’s gone and how far it affects Nigerian workers and the general population. 

“So that is it, the final decision will be done today by NEC and they will then do a resolution, of course, inform me and CBN what their resolution is. But like I said, we have apprehended and we are now conciliating”.

Details later…

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