- The federal government has reacted to TUC's seven-day ultimatum addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari over the petrol price hike
- The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, said the threat was wrongly addressed
- Ngige maintained that President Buhari cannot act on the ultimatum because it should have been sent to him directly
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The federal government, through the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, has reacted to the seven-day ultimatum given to it by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) over the hike in petrol price.
In his conversation with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, September 16, Ngige noted that the threat from TUC was misplaced because it was addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari instead of him, the minister in charge of the issue.
Ngige stressed that the move by the congress violates labour laws which permit concerned groups to forward their grievances and concerns directly to the minister of labour.
The minister noted: “The TUC issue, the seven-day ultimatum was misplaced because they were writing the president and issuing an ultimatum to him.
“The president is not recognised by ILO. The competent authority for this nature of dispute in Nigeria resides in the man who oversees them, which is whoever is the Minister of Labour and Employment.”
Going forward, Ngige disclosed that the government on Wednesday approved a new policy on occupational safety and health 2020 designed to make for the health of workers at workplaces.
He revealed that the policy approved during the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting "derives from the 1999 Constitution as amended, which in Section 17 (3c) prescribes that the Nigerian state shall make laws and by-laws for the preservation of the health and well-being of workers in the work places; men and women at work."
Ngige added: "It also derives from the ILO Convention 155, which Nigeria has also domesticated. Again, that talks about making the work place conducive and ensuring the health and well-being of workers.”
Earlier, President Buhari was given seven days ultimatum to reverse the hike in prices of electricity, petrol, and all other social services in the country.
Failure for the Buhari administration to heed this ultimatum would result in an indefinite industrial action and national protest from Wednesday, September 23.
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