The Federal Government has appealed to organised labour to shelve its proposed indefinite strike to start Thursday, September 21 over the economic hardship triggered by the removal of petrol subsidy by the government.
George Akume, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), speaking on Wednesday to State House journalists after a meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima, said such action was not in the interest of the workers.
Akume, who met with the vice president alongside Simon Lalong, labour and employment minister, described labour leaders as “patriotic Nigerians”, noting that a strike at this time won’t be in the interest of the economy.
“Labour leaders are very patriotic Nigerians and we want to believe correctly that nobody will want to cause a strike. It’s not in the interest of the workers; it’s not in the interest of anybody because this government is very determined to ensure the standard of living of Nigerians to create prosperity for all. It’s not something that can be done overnight.
“This government came in on May 29 and we have a tenure of four years. So, it would be inappropriate to begin to judge us on the basis of the few months we have spent in the office.”
Akume, who also spoke on the nation’s preparation for Nigeria’s Independence Day, said this year’s celebration would be low-key.
“Independence is a very historic event for any country and we Nigerians are no exemption; we are fully prepared for celebrations and for obvious reasons, it going to be low-key. We wish Nigerians the best of luck and I want to assure them that better days are coming, and pretty soon too.”
Lalong on his part, revealed that the team was at the State House to discuss the labour issues and also follow up with the vice president.
“The president is not around and we will continue to discuss with the vice president so that there will be a smooth, harmonious relationship with the labour.”
Speaking on the deadline for indefinite strike by the organised labour, Lalong assured that the discussions will produce the best results for Nigeria.
“As for me, I don’t think there is any problem. We have fully spent time with the labour and the posture of the president too is towards welfare and prosperity for workers.
“We have no doubt and that’s why many of the meetings we have with them, we are not ending up boxing ourselves. We hope that the best is going to come out.”
Speaking specifically on the strike threat by the labour, he said “Nigerians should not worry about that.”
labour leaders were absent at the engagements, as it was restricted to only Federal Government officials.Follow us on social media