The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has urged the government at all levels to respect the provisions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 087 to maintain peaceful industrial harmony.
NECA director-general Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde made the call in a letter to labour minister Simon Lalong on Sunday.
Mr Oyerinde said recent developments in the industry necessitated the letter. He said the trend portended danger for the country’s industrial relations system and could adversely affect its position in the international labour community.
According to him, some state governments are interfering with the running of the unions.
“As a respectable nation in the ILO, with Nigeria being the current chairman of the ILO governing body, it is worrisome that government, both at the federal and state levels, will violate the provisions of Convention 087 of the ILO,” the NECA boss explained. “It guarantees the freedom of association and protection of the rights to organise for workers and employers; this is equally guaranteed and enshrined in our laws: section 40 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.”
Mr Oyerinde added, “Your Excellency, we count on your experience and goodwill to address this anomaly that could plunge the nation into ridicule at the international community, cause disruption in our industrial relations practice, among others.”
In the letter, the NECA director-general said it was no longer news that a social partner and another constituent of the ILO, the Nigeria Labour Congress, continued to face different onslaughts by some state governments and their agents.
“May we affirm, most respectably, that the articles of convention 087, especially articles 1, 2, 3 and 4, among others, explicitly guarantee the rights of workers and employers to exercise these rights without interference from government,” the NECA letter stressed. “This position was also strongly affirmed at the last National Labour Advisory Council meeting held from July 12 to 14, 2023 at Uyo, Akwa Ibom.”