In reaction to the call by the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for the Federal Government to lay off half of its workforce, the Minister of Labour Emeka Wogu has assured Nigerian workers not to panic as the Federal Government does not intend to sack but to retain and increase its workforce.
The minister gave this assurance in Ilorin at the 8th National Labour Summit organized by Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies.
“I speak authoritatively and I want to be quoted. Both the TUC and the NLC should not be agitated on the issue because the Federal Government is committed to protecting and creating more jobs in the country,”
The main auditorium of the institute was filled to capacity by different categories of people who came from far and near to participate in the summit.
The President of the Trade Union Congress Peter Esele and the vice president of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Issa Aremu threw shots at the CBN Governor, as they both condemned Sanusi’s call for the Federal Government to reduce its workforce by half.
The labour leaders concluded that Nigeria could move forward if government revived the real sector of the economy – manufacturing, transportation, textile, food drinks and beverages and other key sectors of the economy, adding that government should enhance the labour force with intervention fund to achieve more for the country.
Allaying the fears of the workers, the minister of labour, Emeka Wogu highlighted several methods of the government to maintain and create new jobs and called on Nigerian workers not to be disturbed by the outburst of the Central Bank Governor.
He said that a committee has been set up to create more jobs in multi sectors of the nation, saying the committee would commence work next week, as the President is bent on implementing job creation policies, particularly in sectors like agriculture, construction, ICT, and tourism, among others.
Though, he contended that job creation was mostly driven by the private sector, he, however, said that the government was creating enabling environment for the private sector to thrive, adding that government owed the society the responsibility to do just that.
While the Kwara state government also explained various methods put in place to create jobs in order to reduce youth restiveness, the Director General of Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, Niyi Olarewaju noted that the need to give serious attention to social protection informs the summit and called on government at all levels to tackle unemployment.
Some notable Nigerians including former labour leaders were given awards for their contribution to labour development in the country.