Kayode Ajulo, a constitutional lawyer, has advised the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to jettison its proposed strike and embrace dialogue with the federal government through wage review and palliatives for the citizenry.
Mr Ajulo said this in Abuja on Saturday against the backdrop of fuel subsidy removal by the federal government and the NLC planned strike for next Wednesday.
He also said some leaders of the NLC should declare their interest, adding that using partisanship to fight labour interests 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.”
He said the option of always embarking on strike alone would not solve the problem, adding that the NLC, when negotiating with the federal government, should prioritise the upward review of civil servant salaries.
“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 Mr Ajulo.
He called for the provision of other palliatives as well as putting in place some infrastructure to help address the gaps that the subsidy removal would create.
“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.
Mr Ajulo urged NLC to consult far and wide, suggesting that these should be the NLC’s 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 stated 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.
Mr Ajulo said the ₦63 billion to pay severance package to former President Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and other outgone 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 the polity.