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FG to meet Labour Unions over strikes Saturday —Ngige

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The Federal Government will meet with organised labour and members of Civil Society Organisations on Saturday, September 12, to negotiate on the incessant industrial actions by members of the unions.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, stated this while interacting with State House correspondents on Friday.

Dr. Ngige had held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Friday.

He disclosed that representatives of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other affiliates will be present.

He said: “The President has approved for us to have a bigger government side meeting with the organised labour.

“All government institutions that have to do with the finances of government will join us to meet with them and show them the books.

“So, the invitation is going out to them this afternoon (Friday), the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and their affiliates or supporters and friends in the Civil Society Organisations.

“The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday), so, I will relate more with the Chief of Staff to the President and the leadership of the unions today so that we do this meeting tomorrow.

“At the meeting, government finances, challenges and everything will be laid bare on the table. They will also table their own fears and what they think is also good for the Nigerian people especially the workers, so that we look at them.”

Speaking further, he noted: “The tripartite unions of university system including some colleges of education and some hospitals; Non-Academic Staff of Universities, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the National Association of Academic Technologists, we have invited them to a meeting.

“The leadership met with me last week and the major thrust of the challenges they have is on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information system.

“They claimed and alleged that the IPPIS system is over deducting some line items like taxes, the Pay As You Earn taxes they claim the IPPIS system is charging more than they supposed to debit.

“They also claimed that some allowances that are peculiar to the university system like responsibility allowance, hazard allowance, field trip allowance and education of children allowance, that the IPPIS has stopped all of them.

“At the government level, we have discussed and we now want to do a special session with them, they come with their facts and the Accountant-General will lead his team, the National Salaries and Incomes and Wages will also come and the Ministry of Labour will lead and then we discuss and find out who is treating the other unfairly,” he explained.

Ngige also assured Nigerians of Government’s attention over public outcry following the recent hike in electricity tariff.

He said that the electricity tariff was approved based on certain electricity band R1 and R2 by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

 

He assured that the federal government is going to look at them holistically to establish a stable labour industrial union in the country.

“The President has been briefed and he is in tune and has given the support to talk to everybody we need to talk to,” the minister said.

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