The Federal Government on Thursday said that it would not restrain the activities of organised labour in the country but will continue to engage them in dialogue until the ongoing national minimum wage issue is amicably agreed upon.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, gave the assurance when a delegation of the organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja,.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press in the ministry, Mr Samuel Olowookere, ,Ngige maintained government “does not believe in curbing the activities of the organised labour union” as doing so will violate the provisions of Section 40 of the constitution which allow for freedom of association.
He said: “It is the same law that gave birth to the formation of political parties that also empowered the formation of labour unions, hence President Muhammadu Buhari will never tamper with the activities of the unions.
“The Federal Government is committed to working in synergy with the two active labour centres in Nigeria, who are also dynamic members of OATUU with many affiliate unions”, Ngige added.
The minister charged the OATUU to work out modalities on how to facilitate the review of its relationship with the Federal Government, especially in terms of funding in view of the ongoing review of the list of international organisations and associations the country belong to.
According to him, the Federal Government recently decided to review the list of international organisations and associations which the country will belong to in view of the fact that the payments of subvention and statutory contributions to such organisations have started taking toll on government’s treasury.
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation, and Deputy Secretary General of OATUU, Comrade Valentine Udeh, said that the delegation came to discuss the review of subvention to OATUU by the Federal Government.
He expressed the union’s appreciation for the support it had received from the Federal Government in the past and promised the organisation’s commitment to continue to cater for the well-being of workers in the African continent.