The facts have emerged of why the Nigerian House of Representatives wants to amend the country’s Labour Act.
House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila while receiving the leadership of organized labour in his office in Abuja, revealed that the plan is to strengthen the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The Speaker said the NLC represented vast majority of Nigerians and had a mandate to protect the interest of the common man just like the legislature.
“We will be looking forward to your inputs, we are ready to look at them and amend the Labour Act.
“You should do that on time because time is of the essence so that we pass it very quickly,” Gbajabimila said.
The speaker urged the union to key into the motto of the 9th House of Representatives which was “Nation Building, a Joint Task”.
He said that NLC should always conduct its activities free from political, religious or ethnic influences.
Earlier, NLC Chairman, Mr Ayuba Wabba said that the visit was aimed at seeking collaboration of the house towards building the union into a strong institution.
Wabba said that democracy can only thrive in the country through strong institutions like the NLC, legislature, judiciary among others.
He said that the NLC was made up of unions in the informal and formal sectors and that it represented the interest of the common man.
The chairman said the NLC was interested in sustaining cordial relationship with the green chamber for the protection of Nigerian people.
According to him, the United States, Germany, China and other developed countries have very strong labour unions and there is need to strengthen the NLC.
He stressed the need to put an end to casualisation of workers through legislation, describing it as modern day slavery.
Wabba said that when amending the Labour Act, labour unions should be made more independent and that every Nigerian worker should be free to join any union of his choice.
He said there was need for a social dialogue which should be made up of all stakeholders to address issues rather than strikes.
Wabba commended the house for its interventions in resolving labour related matters especially in the health, education and power sectors in the country.