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Saba: Reps Are Inviting NLC, TUC To Avert Looming Industrial Action

Saba: Reps Are Inviting NLC, TUC To Avert Looming Industrial Action

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Honorable Ahmed Adam Saba is a federal lawmaker repesenting Edu/Moro/Patigi constituency in the 10th National Assembly. He speaks on efforts to avert the planned industrial action being organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress against the rise in cost of living in Nigeria.



NASSNEWS: Why are you urging the House of Representatives to invite the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress for a discussion with regards to the planned industrial action?



HONOURABLE AHMED SABA: The reason we are inviting the two unions which are representing all the categories of workers and trade associations in Nigeria for discussion is to avert the already tensed situation we have in Nigeria. Like you know, any day that the nation goes on strike, we lose a lot of money that very day, just for a day, when we talk then of within two days, three days, we will lose a whole lot. At the moment, the situation of the country is already tense, there’s serious hunger in the land, people are crying of serious poverty. So bringing these union leaders on board is to avert whatever economic loss it could cause the nation. As the voice of the people, the representative of the people, there is a need to interface. It’s part of the duty of the parliamentarians to also interface in such situation where there are either in like an impasse or differences between the two parties, the house is coming in to interface between the two parties, to save the already terrible situation. That is the major reasons the union leaders of these two bodies are being invited, so that the situation can be resolved amicably. The demands that they have outlined earlier before now will be critically looked into by the government on their part, not just looking into it, but to work with it positively. Also to appeal to the union leaders to talk to their members, to sheath their sword for this very moment, to see how they go about it through negotiations.



NASSNEWS: What do you hope to achieve with with the invitation to the two main industrial unions in Nigeria?


HONOURABLE AHMED SABA: Our discussion with them will be mutual and beneficial to both parties. The government will have the time to attend to the needs of the unions because the union is agitating is for the interests of their members and they are threatening to go on a nationwide strike. So, the major goal that the meeting will achieve is to make sure that apart from averting the situation that is already tense, it will give the government the opportunity to see the reason they should attend to the agreements they have already reached with the union members and immediately implement it without any delay.



NASSNEWS: Do you think the federal government will be able to attend to their demands with the current economic challenges?



HONOURABLE AHMED SABA: The National Assembly is an arm of government on its own, which is the legislative arm. They cannot categorically speak on behalf of the executive arm, in which the President is the leader. But we know very well that they are working hand in hand in bringing Nigeria out of this terrible situation that we have. And we know that whatever resolution is reached, which the government already have the template of what the union leaders want, the government is mindful of the situation at hand, and we strongly believe that the government will act on it and will keep to their words and the terms they’ve reached.



NASSNEWS: There have been many times that they go on strike, then have a meeting with the federal government, the same circle happened all over again. You know, it gets to a point where the people get tired and expect the same result of nothing happening. So do you think this is going to be different this time?



HONOURABLE AHMED SABA: The executive arm stands a better chance but we are very very positive on this issue. Like I stated earlier, the situation is not a palatable one, it is only an unserious government that wouldn’t look into the plight and the agitation of the union members. I believe strongly that this government is committed to seeing that whatever affects the Nigerian workers is being resolved. I don’t want to believe that it will be like previous meetings that they’ve had, because they’ve had terms, they’ve had conditions and they have their modalities on what to do and how to also implement the policies which the government have bodies and which even the union members are part of it. I think with this they would have been able to examine all issues and come up with what they want do to push the government forward.



NASSNEWS: Are there any words of encouragement you want to tell the people?



HONOURABLE AHMED SABA: We are faced with a very stark reality that we cannot deny the obvious. Nigerians are going through a lot, that is undeniable and we strongly believe that the government of the day is not unmindful of the pains of the citizens. Like the President has said repeatedly, that he is aware of the hardship of Nigeria, so he’s appealing. We are also appealing to the populace, we are appealing to the citizenry to be patient and that things will definitely take a positive turn around. It’s not been easy for the hike in food, virtually everything in the country, but with their patience giving the government a little time. If you notice, the government has not spent up to a year, they met with a whole lot of issues which they are confronting and finding solutions to. So, they should just give the government chance to see what the government will do and having it at the back of their mind that the government is not sleeping at all, over their issue. Because that is why the government is there for them, like the law, Section 14 of the Constitution says, the primary responsibility of government is to take care of the governed, their welfare and their security. So the government is not sleeping now what it ought to do. But the Nigerian population, Please be patient with the government. The government will address their issues in due time.

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