April 13, 2024

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, has appealed to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) not to embark on its planned strike action.

In his welcome remarks at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, Abbas pledged that the house would engage and support the Executive to resolve the current economic hardship in the country.

The parliamentarian explained that embarking on strike would only make the situation worse for all Nigerians, urging the union to consider ongoing efforts to improve the economy.

Following the removal of fuel subsidy and the accompanying economic hardships, the union demanded sustainable minimum wage and palliatives to citizens.

The union had issued a 21-day ultimatum, which is expected to expire at midnight Tuesday, upon which an indefinite strike will Commence.

According to Abbas, as the people’s representatives, we feel and equally share in the pains of our people at these very difficult times.

“However, I would like to appeal to the NLC to consider the various actions being taken by the Federal Government to alleviate the current hardship faced by Nigerians.

“As promised earlier, this house remains committed to getting a survival wage to all Nigerian workers.

“The 10th House had assured Nigerians that we would be interfacing between the organised labour and the government to quickly work out a realistic new national minimum wage.

“Also other palliatives to enable citizens cope with the economic impact of fuel subsidy removal, the downward fall of the naira to the dollar, skyrocketing cost of food and general high cost of living in the country.

“It is in our considered opinion that embarking on a nationwide strike at this point will only aggravate an already bad situation.

“I therefore urge the leadership of Labour Unions to give us the benefit of doubt and suspend any planned strike action while we engage the executive,” he said.

The speaker charged the lawmakers to turn the tide of woes and gloom of the nation as their offices present them with the opportunities and prospects to do so.

He said President Bola Tinubu had recorded a huge diplomatic and economic breakthrough with the United Arab Emirates, which would see the resumption of issuance of visas to Nigerians by the UAE and the return of Emirates Airlines to Nigerian skies.

He said that Tinubu had equally recorded some major economic agreements in India following the productive outing at the recently concluded 78 General Assembly of the United Nations.

“In the coming days, the Executive arm of government is expected to present a 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill as well as the 2024 Appropriation Bill to this Honourable House.

“It is expected that the time to consider these bills will be short, but we must roll-up our sleeves and get to work immediately and ensure the speedy consideration that will encapsulate the yearnings of the people.

“We have to put in extra work hours to ensure that the budget is passed in good time to enable its implementation from the first day of 2024.

“Our nation and indeed this 10th House of the People does not have the luxury of time in the face of profound national challenges.

“We must therefore do everything within our powers to champion causes towards addressing the yearnings of our people,” he said.

The speaker directed all ad hoc Committees to conclude their assignments and submit their reports on or before October 3, as they will all cease to exist after the ultimatum.

He said any of the committees that is unable to conclude its assignment on the date, such tasks shall be yielded to the relevant Standing Committees.

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