President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the government would ensure that no employer lays off workers without going through due process of social dialogue, including consultations with workers and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
In a message to mark this year’s workers’ day, he said he understood the anxiety which had plagued the minds of workers over the possibility of job losses due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and lock-down, especially in the private sector. He asked Nigerian workers both in the public and private sectors to bear the stringent measures put in place to stop the coronavirus. Buhari’s message was read on his behalf by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, during a virtual meeting with labour leaders.
The president said such understanding from workers would enable government put the ravaging pandemic under control and restore normalcy within the confines of relevant guidelines issued by health experts and the government for safety. He thanked Nigerian workers, saying their resilience in times of adversity was not questionable.
“I know that with collective will and sense of responsibility, as a team, we shall triumph as a nation. I acknowledge that it is not easy but nations globally are in a state of war against this pandemic and in a war situation, survival is paramount. Though the lock-down had been partially lifted in the FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, except Kano State, workers are enjoined to observe subsequent rules and regulations issued to ensure the safety,” he said.
Buhari said he had put in place a Presidential Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) with the objective of developing a credible sustainability plan for repositioning the Nigerian economy now and the post-Covid-19 crisis period.