The Federal Government on Friday in Abuja said it would not recognise the factional group of the Nigeria Labour Congress led by Joe Ajearo of the National Union of Electricity Employees.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Joel Ikenya, declared the stand of the Federal Government when the Ayuba Wabba-led newly-elected executive members of the congress paid him a courtesy visit.
Mr. Ikenya said the election that brought in Mr. Wabba was duly monitored by all stakeholders in the sector.
“We have not heard and we have not got any letter from anywhere in respect of any other NLC,” Mr. Ikenya said. “It was in the media and our ministry participated in monitoring the process of the election. Therefore, controversy is internal. The ministry is not part of it. We know that you will sort yourselves out because there is a process and I know that all of you know that process.”
The minister said that Nigerians would like to see a better united NLC that would work in workers interest.
“I want us to understand each other; the government is very serious about the welfare of civil servants,” he said. “So, I will continue to consolidate on the achievements so far made.”
Mr. Wabba of the Medical and Health Workers Union emerged the new President of the NLC at the 11th National Delegates elections held on March 12.
However, Mr. Ajaero, who controls 23 affiliate unions, was later elected leader of a faction of the NLC after he complained about the process of the first election.
Mr. Wabba had told the minister that the visit was to declare the readiness of the new labour leadership to partner with the Federal Government to achieve a better working environment for workers.
Mr. Wabba decried the devaluation of the naira owing to the drop in crude oil prices at the international market, saying it was already taking its toll on the economic fortunes of workers.
“Labour is a critical component of our economy, we produce and create wealth,” he said. “Therefore, as the creators of the wealth, it is very important that our issues and aspirations are taken on board.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Wabba also paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General, Department of State Services, Ekpenyong Ita.
Mr. Ita used the occasion to call on workers to continue to collaborate with security services in their quest to tackle security challenges facing the country.
He also urged them to share information with relevant security agencies in the fight against insurgents.