NLC 13th WORLD DAY FOR DECENT WORK: NLC Tells Govt. – There Is Need To Renew The Social Contract
Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria
In complaince with the directive from the national body, the Nigeria Labour Congress Kaduna today marked it’s 13th World Day For Decent Work.
Addressing newsmen during a press conference, with a theme, “A New Social Contract For Recovery And Resilience”,
the Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress Kaduna, Comrade Ayuba Magaji Suleiman stressed on the need to respect the fundamental human rights of citizens in all ramification.
According to him, by definition; decent work is employment that “respects the fundamental rights of the human person as well as rights of workers in terms of conditions of work safety and remuneration. Respect for the physical and mental integrity of the worker in the exercise of his/her employment.”
Decent work also applied to both the formal and informal sector. It must address all kind of jobs, people and families. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), decent work involves opportunities for work that are productive and deliver a fair income,
security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.”
Lamenting, he called on government to bridge the gap between her and its citizens by building a robust relationship that will help move the nation forward.
“Nigeria’s system has failed.There is great gap in the relationship between the citizens and government. We need to come back to the drawing table and start a new bargain.
There is need to renew the social contract between government and workers for better tomorrow. He added.
While recognizing the effects of Covid -19 on the economy of the country,
Labour demands for urgent governnent’s interventions that will bring lasting solution to the untold sufferings masses are presently going through.
Government needs to create a conducive working condition as well as business environment for it’s masses, it argued.
The case of Kaduna state where some businesses are affected due to demolision of markets which according to the state government was meant to mordernize the markets was brought to fore.
“The economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic have been layered on top of a pre-existing crisis of low-wage and insecure jobs. Every second person has no financial buffer, no ability to save for the tough times ahead and relies on every pay cheque to survive. Without savings or a safety net, millions of people entered the pandemic with a choice between working and starving,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
The COVID-19 crisis is expected to wipe out 6.7 per cent of working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 – equivalent to 195 million full-time workers. Large reductions are foreseen in the Arab States (8.1 per cent, equivalent to 5 million full-time workers), Europe (7.8 per cent, or 12 million full-time workers) and Asia and the Pacific (7.2 per cent, 125 million full-time workers).
Nigeria’s economy it emphasized is facing collapse as a result of it dependant on oil.
“Nigeria’s economy is facing collapse as it largely depends on oil exports
The oil markets have been on a downward trend as COVID-19 has crippled demand. Fuel prices fell and recorded 18-year low trading at less than 22 dollars per barrel and expected to go lower. Nigeria’s economy contracted by 6.1% year on year in the second quarter of this year, latest reports from Nigeria’s statistics bureau show. The dip follows thirteen quarters of positive but low growth rates. The -6.1% decline is also Nigeria’s steepest in the last 10 years.
“As with most other economies around the world, the sharp drop in Nigeria’s GDP growth is largely down to the slowdown in economic activity after the country resorted to a lockdown back in April to curb the spread of the virus. In the wake of the pandemic the World Bank forecast a decline of -3.2% for 2020-a five percentage point drop from its previous projections.
“The stories are the same in Kaduna State, the almost five months lockdown strangulated small and medium businesses, some companies and business establishment were close down, also, the popular Sheikh Abubakar Gumi Market was shut down leaving traders with huge loss due to expired and damage commodities in their shops.
Amid the Covid-19 lockdown, the State Government unilaterally deducted 25% of its workers’ salaries for two consecutive months; important markets were demolished for ambitious expansion and
Modernizations, living good number of traders without sources or livelihood, thus worsening the situation as authorities’ intervention were either insufficient or not forthcoming.”
The union in his plea called on the state government to render assistance to those affected as well as the vulnerable in order that they can have means of lively hood.
“Workers and businesses are facing catastrophe, in both developed and developing economies,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “We have to move fast, decisively, and together. The right, urgent, measures could make the difference between survival and collapse.”
Large-scale, integrated, policy measures are needed, focusing on four pillars: supporting enterprises, employment and incomes; stimulating the economy and jobs; protecting workers in the workplace; and, using social dialogue between government, workers and employers to find solutions.
“This is the greatest test for international cooperation in more than 75 years,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, “If one country fails, then we all fail. We must find solutions that help all segments of our global society, particularly those that are most vulnerable or least able to help
“The choices we make today will directly affect the way this crisis unfolds and so the lives of billions of people,. “With the right measures we can limit its impact and the scars it leaves. We must aim to build back better so that our new systems are safer, fairer and more sustainable than those that allowed this crisis to happen.”(Ryder, 2020)
According to NLC for things to fall into its right perspective there is the urgent need for a new bargain. Also, is the need
to renew the strategies, interventions which are essential and urgent to rescue the situation through the Decent Work Agenda at all levels.