The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has threatened to sanction banks, who sack workers indiscriminately, saying they ought to declare redundancy before taking such decisions.
Ngige, who resumed duty on Thursday alongside the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Sen. Tayo Alasoadura, said it was worrisome that workers were sacked without recourse to due process of disengagement.
According to him, the ministry has introduced time frame of running agreements that have been reached with trade unions in order to make an insurable industrial climate.
“We also have to monitor job loses, we also have to stem the tide of job losses through a proactive action from this ministry.
“We were all here, when the bank started, we had to stop them because we looked into the matter and discover they didn’t actually declare redundancy, which is in labour sections.
“They must observe the article of redundancy, once they do that, the law is the last to come first to go.
‘We discovered that those banks, having used earlier people, want to dispose them and bring relatives and other friends, the same thing in the oil industry.
” We have created an enabling environment for them, we can do better, we can consolidate on our gains, we can also conciliate in a better way.
“We have introduced time frame of running agreements that have been reached with trade unions in order to make an insurable industrial climate.
“We have done it before, we can do it again, I urge all of you to wear your cap as issue of unemployment rest on the government to stem it,” the minister said.
Ngige said through the department of cooperatives, currently managed by the ministry of agriculture, government will ensure that all states of the federation collaborate to promote self employment.
He pledged commitment to continue working with the labour unions, saying due process would be followed to engender peaceful industrial peace and harmony.
He said he delayed registration of the United Labour Congress, following the issue of not meeting the requirements as a trade Union.
“I remain committed to working with the Labour unions. The Nigeria Labour Congress is a federation of labour unions. You have other federations such as the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria and the United Labour Congress, which has not been officially registered, but there are unions that are there.
“I refused to register the United Labour Congress as a labour federation in his first coming to the ministry because they have not met the legal requirement of having 12 brand new labour unions, even though they currently have about 18 unions in their fold.
“We will also extend our hand of friendship to all the labour unions, before I left, we had some family dispute, there is no family that has no problem.
“However, we have resolved it in a family way and will ensure the wounds heals permanently, this is what I have to say for tripartitism,” the minister said.
He also commended the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for providing an office for Nigeria in Geneva, saying this meant more responsibility for the country as “the whole of Africa now promoted us to take charge of West Africa and Africa region.”