Civil society seeks collaboration with NLC

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Abuja – Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), on Monday in Abuja called for stronger collaboration with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

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Rafsanjani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that such collaboration would help to bridge the gap between the civil society and the labour movement.

“It is very clear that there has been a huge gap in networking, collaboration and synergising between the civil society and labour.

“In the past, especially during the protest of 2012 when labour and the civil society called for a strike, there was suspicion between labour and the civil society.

“Labour had called off the strike without consulting with the civil society and we felt aggrieved because we were on the streets protesting with the Nigerian people when we heard that the strike had been called off.

“It would have been better if labour had taken a decision with the consent of the civil society, rather we were not consulted and for that and we were not happy.

“We in the civil society felt that labour only reaches out to us when it is in need; we felt that there should be a standing relationship.’’

Rafsanjani said that there was a need for both parties to work closely to build the kind of confidence and trust that would move the country forward.

“We in the civil society believe that labour has a strong role to play in terms of legislative processes.

“That is why we want to collaborate with them to make this a reality.

“We have already discussed the issue with the NLC and are working out modalities on how CISLAC, in particular, can support labour.
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“We are looking at areas such as capacity building in legislative matters, strengthening of labour members so that they can effectively and efficiently engage the state assemblies, National Assembly on different legislative procedures.

“This will include participating in public hearing, advocating for labour policies and legislations as against waiting for when the damage is done and then calling for a protest.’’

Rafsanjani said CISLAC and other civil society groups were ready to partner the NLC and fashion out ways to provide the movement with technical capacity support.

“We must have a stronger synergy that will help to rebuild the confidence and the trust required between labour and civil societies.’’ (NAN)

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