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NLC Strike: Ngige, Emefiele Meet With Labour Union Leadership

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As part of efforts to mitigate a looming strike announced by the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele have met with the congress.

Naija News reports that Ngige and Emefiele on Monday met with a ten-man delegation of the NLC led by the President, Joe Ajaero and the General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja to discuss how to avert the planned nationwide strike.

The meeting follows threats issued by congress to commence a nationwide strike if the CBN does not ease the cash crunch among Nigerians.

The Congress had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the naira scarcity in the country or a nationwide strike would be staged.

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It was gathered from a statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun that things have been resolved at yesterday’s meeting after discussions took place.

According to the statement, the minister had invited the apex bank leadership and the NLC to a meeting on Monday to resolve the matter.

The statement said, “The ten-man delegation of the NLC was led by the President, Comrade Joe Ajaero and the General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja while the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele was accompanied by two Deputy Governors, Kingsley Obiora (Economic Policy) and Ade Shonubi (Organised Private Sector).”

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And at the meeting, he denied the allegation from the NLC that his ministry had done nothing about the matter.

Ngige noted that immediately after he got the letter from the NLC leadership, he forwarded the same to the CBN governor before travelling out of the country for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Board meeting and directed the Permanent Secretary and Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations Department to follow up.

The CBN governor on his part said when he received the letter from the Labour Ministry, he called the President of NLC to brief him on steps taken to alleviate the sufferings of the masses and equally made an appointment and had a discussion with NLC presiden.

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He said a large volume of funds was made available to the deposit money banks and they were directed to open their branches on Saturdays and Sundays and they complied under strict supervision by the CBN.

However, the NLC boss, who led the ten-man delegation of the congress, bemoaned the information gap, saying they only got a reply to their second letter to the ministry and subsequently, an invitation to the meeting.

He said there won’t be any problem since the CBN has commenced sending cash to banks to ease the cash crunch.

He also called on the leadership of the apex bank to improve their services for more ease.

Ajaero submitted that “NLC could not have stopped CBN from taking good decisions and implementing them in the interest of the nation. If stakeholders were invited and briefed on the policy, when the people complain, NLC would explain everything to them. But in this case, the CBN did it alone. () Moreover, it is a wrong time for administering such a national policy.”

He also disclosed that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NLC will meet on Tuesday 28th of March, 2023 (today) where members from states and Local Government Areas are expected to report on the availability of money, after which a decision will be taken on the strike.