The Federal Government, Monday, called on the Nigerian Labour Congress, to fully embrace dialogue as a means of resolution to the issues bordering the removal of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol.
The Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, made this known in his opening remarks at the meeting between representatives of the government and the NLC.
Lalong, who was in the company of the Minister of State for Labour, Nkeiru Onyejeocha, and other officials of the ministry appreciated the Labour Centre for honouring the invitation of the ministry.
Speaking further, the former Plateau State governor noted that he was willing to work alongside the unionists to find lasting solutions that will benefit all Nigerians.
He said, “In recent months, our country has witnessed teething challenges, marked by industrial actions and unrest that have adversely affected the economy. I appear before you today not just as a representative of the government, but as an advocate for constructive dialogue, aspiring to understand your concerns and working hand in hand to find lasting solutions that benefit all Nigerians.
“I fully acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable role the NLC plays in championing the rights and welfare of our workers. Your dedication and tireless advocacy have been critical in shaping a fair and inclusive work environment and ensuring the well-being of our workforce. We acknowledge the valid grievances that have fueled the recent labour crisis, and we are committed to addressing them in a just and equitable manner.
“ We must also recognize the economic realities that confront us. As we address the concerns of our workforce, we must be mindful of striking a balance that promotes economic growth and secures sustainable progress for our nation. Today, I call upon each one of you to join hands in an open-minded and constructive dialogue, enabling us to bridge any gaps that may exist between the interests of workers and the ultimate goal of driving economic advancement.
“In the spirit of unity and with utmost commitment to the betterment of our nation, let us seize this opportunity to listen and understand one another. Together, let us explore innovative approaches, reimagining strategies that enhance working conditions and worker benefits while nurturing a robust economy.
“I am confident that this gathering will produce resolutions that propel our labour sector towards greater strength, and our beloved country towards a brighter future. We eagerly look forward to our discussions today, knowing that the harmonious collaboration between the government and the NLC will facilitate an environment where our workforce thrives, and our economy flourishes.”
The PUNCH reports that the Minister invited officials of the NLC for a meeting following the threats of an indefinite strike.
Earlier, the NLC and its affiliates had embarked on a two-day nationwide protest to make known their grievances over what it tagged as the propagation of “anti-poor” policies by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.