Confab: Committee harmonises draft report, recommends labour remains on exclusive list

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ABUJA – The National Conference Committee on Civil Society, Labour, Youth and Sports, has proposed that labour issues including minimum wage, remained on the exclusive list to avoid setting labour backward in the country.

The Sub-Committee Chairman on Labour, and delegate representing Organised Labour at the conference, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ozo-Eson said moving labour issues to the concurrent list, would disorganise the unions and cause incessant strikes, adding that labour issues ought to remain on the exclusive list to maintain national standard.

“We are aware that the Committee on Devolution of Power has proposed that labour issues, including minimum wage be moved from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.

“When we first got wind of this, organised labour in the conference formally requested to meet with the committee and we tried to impress on them the need to maintain the status quo by retaining labour issues in the exclusive list.

“Subsequently, we heard in the press that Obong Victor Attah, who is a co-chair in that committee, informed the public that they still maintained the position that theywere recommending it should be moved to the concurrent list.

“The sub-committee on labour which I chair, has recommended to the committee on civil society and sports, that the position has been adopted that labour issues need to be retained in the exclusive legislative list,” he said.

Ozo-Eson said labour should not be moved to concurrent legislative list, given the fact that it was one of the organisations in the country that promoted unity.

He also said that labour had contributed immensely to the economic development of the nation and should not be tampered with.

“There are examples of other nations where labour is on the exclusive list and I don’t think we should be going back on this issue. We should be taking steps that will move us forward positively and strengthen our national cohesion.’’

Ozo-Eson, who is the Chief Economist to Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), equally disclosed that the committee made recommendations on casualisation of workers and unemployment.(NAN)