Construction workers association in Nigeria threaten strike due to layoff of 30,000 workers 

The Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA) and the National Union of Civil Engineering Construction Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) have threatened to halt work on major roads due to an ongoing crisis.

Nairametrics learnt that so far, 30,000 workers have lost their jobs and about 52,000 more may face job losses if the situation does not improve. 

Many workers have therefore been laid off in the past three months, and jobs are at risk if the conflicts remain unresolved. 

These unions, affiliated with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), represent senior and junior staff in the construction industry. 

Reasons for the layoffs 

According to CCESSA National President Ayodeji Adeyemo and NUCECFWW President Stephen Okoro, the dire situation faced by construction workers is caused by the disagreement between the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) and the Minister of Works. 

The industry has been experiencing a slowdown due to this. 

Adeyemo disclosed that this was a result of the unilateral imposition of new standard conditions of contracts by the Minister, contrary to the existing conditions as approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and has affected employment in the industry, leading to mass sack of Nigerian workers who are members of our unions. 

Adeyemo noted that the construction industry is Nigeria’s second largest employer after the government. However, he expressed concern that many workers are being laid off by construction companies, creating a crisis in the sector. 


What he said 

According to Adeyemo,

“Over 30,000 workers have lost their jobs and about 52,000 workers may lose their jobs if care is not taken. 

“Over 20,000 have already lost their jobs in the last three months and 32,000 will also lose their jobs if the conflicts are not resolved. 

“We may have no choice but to stop work on major roads if the trend continues. 

“Some of the roads that are affected by the conflicts are roads being handled by major construction companies like RCC, Setraco, Julius Berger, Dantata and Sawoe, among others. 

“They are Obajana Road, Abuja -Kano Road, Bodo-Bonny Road, East-West Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Zaria -Sokoto Road and Edo-Auchi Road. 

“When you sack people with family and other dependents, you are only calling for more insecurity in the country. Nigeria is currently grappling with insecurity and you can imagine when 52,000 workers are laid off”. 


Industrial action looms 

Adeyemo said the unions have appealed to the Minister of Works, David Umahi, for a form of bailout to the distressed construction sector rather than any form of conflict. 

“We call on the federal government to resolve the conflict in the industry by involving all stakeholders in contract awards. 

“These are the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Works, Council for Regulation of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI), among others. 

“We urge the Minister of Works, FOCI and all concerned to amicably resolve the current conflict within 21 days otherwise, the two Unions will be compelled to declare industrial actions in the construction industry.” 


The two unions called for an end to banditry, kidnappings and killings that had become so common in the country, urging security agencies to ensure the safety of construction workers and all Nigerians. 



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