Dr Kayode Ajulo, a constitutional lawyer, has advised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to jettison its proposed strike and embrace dialogue with the Federal Government by way of wage review and palliatives for the citizenry.
He said the court has consistently maintained that strike should be the last option, adding that this has always been the trend world over
Ajulo said this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday against the backdrop of fuel subsidy removal by the federal government and the NLC planned strike next week Wednesday.
He said embarking on strike should not be the first and ultimate options as there were other options that must be explored by the union.
He said the option of always embarking on strike alone would not solve the problem, adding that the NLC when negotiating with federal government should prioritise the upward review of civil servant salaries.
“I am worried that nobody is asking for how they will be paying some allowances to some citizens to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
“I am equally surprised that labour is not talking about the interest of the worker by paying them some allowances, wage review in line with the fuel subsidy removal,” said Ajulo.
He called for provision of other palliatives as well as putting in place some infrastructure to help address the gaps that would be created by the subsidy removal.
“We know that there is always the issue of distrust and dishonesty on the part of some of the leaders, but NLC should exercise patience in this matter and see how the issue can be addressed,” he said.
Ajulo urged NLC to consult far and wide, suggesting that these should be the NLC guiding note for negotiation with the Presidency.
He said civil servants salaries have to be increased and there must be an end to multiple exchange rates.
He further said that statutory benefits and palliatives must be given to the poorest five per cent of Nigerians, adding that the labour should force the government to ensure the nation’s refineries worked.
Ajulo said the ₦63 billion meant to pay severance package to former President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other out gone governors should be halted until those measures were implemented.
He said the nation could no longer afford the corruption infected subsidy regime, adding that NLC must think out of the box to avoid heating up the polity.
He also said that some leaders of the NLC should declare its interest, adding that using partisanship to fight labour interest would not augur well for the union as it would discredit the purpose of the union.
The legal practitioner said “NLC should be strategic in the way they handle the subsidy removal as President Tinubu today has a democratic mandate to remove the subsidy.”