“We have to address remuneration so that you don’t have workers who become working beggars because their income can hardly take care of them”.
The National Conference committee on Civil Society, Labour and Sports has sacked its chairperson, Bola Ogunrimade, for absenteesm.
The committee replaced the sacked chair with her deputy, Issa Aremu.
The committee, which is one of the ten committees of the confab sitting at the NICON Luxury Hotel, took the decision in a unanimous vote.
“Because of persistent non-appearance of the chairperson, the committee members have asked me to take over as the chairman and we intend to communicate this to the secretariat,” Mr. Aremu said while speaking to reporters after the sitting of the committee.
Mr. Aremu said the former chairperson has not reported formally since the committee took off.
“It is going to be difficult to drive a committee which you don’t know the concept and the idea we have been running,” he said
Mr. Aremu also said the committee had been discussing on all the four thematic issues outlined in its mandate.
“On labour we have had a robust discussion; we are coming to a conclusion that labour is a critical partner in the development process. It is the creator of wealth, if we motivate labour very well, it can become good partner in development of Nigeria.”
The Labour leader lamented the poor remuneration policy in Nigeria.
“We have to address remuneration so that you don’t have workers who become working beggars because their income can hardly take care of them,” he said.
He also spoke about the citizens apparent ignorance of labour laws in the country which he said was due to inadequate information on labour matters.
He gave example with the victims of last week’s bomb blast in Nyanya, Abuja.
“People are giving charity to victims of Nyanya blasts, but under our laws, they have legitimate claims because that accident happened to them at work,” he said.
He also said that contrary to widespread perception, religion was not the major problem with Nigeria because according to him, only three per cent of the delegates indicated interest to serve on the confab Committee on Religion.
“Which means the so called religious divide is artificial; it doesn’t exist. Delegates want to discuss issues that affect all of us. Issues like devolution of power, resource control, labour, they don’t want to discuss on whether you go to the church or mosque.”
Mr. Aremu said “there is a lot the political class can learn from this conference. Regardless of our reservation and sectional interest we are having common ground for development. If all of us at this conference are united and face the insecurity challenge, the elected would be free to do their mandate”.