The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said the directive by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Ayuba Wabba, to workers to embark on a one day protest on Monday is unlawful.
The minister therefore asked workers in the country to disregard the directive, insisting that the contentious issue surrounding the inauguration of Chief Frank Kokori as the Chairman of the Board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, does not constitute a labour dispute.
Ngige stated this in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Nwachukwu Obidewe, in Abuja on Friday.
“The calling out of workers on a flimsy and selfish excuse of non-inauguration of the board of the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) with Comrade Frank Kokori as the Chairman did not constitute a trade dispute as contained in the Labour Act.
“The issue in question is political. It is about the exclusive right of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to make an appointment.
“This is clearly outside the purview of the Trade Union and Trade Disputes Act, hence imperative for workers to go about their normal businesses.
“It is important to state here that every worker is supposed to put in eight hours of work per day for five days in a week in line with the ILO Convention.
“Therefore, using the office hours for such protest without the approval of the employers is unlawful, ‘’the minister said.
According to the minister, the 40 hours a week which Nigerian workers subscribed to should be used for productive ventures, especially in view of the new National Minimum Wage and the consequential financial adjustments.
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