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Labour charges Keyamo on proficiency for workers’ interest

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Nigige

Labour leaders have urged the new Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, to bring his legal experience to bear to protect and elevate the interest of Nigerian workers.

The labour leaders, who pledged their support, also urged him to support the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Nigige, to ensure the minimum wage is appropriately and quickly implemented.

The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Emmanuel Ugboaja, noted that Keyamo, whom he described as a former trade unionist, would fit into the ministry as “he comes with loads of pedigree, legality and activism.”

He said the sudden redeployment of Keyamo into the labour ministry is a function of the executive, as “labour does not have any input to make when the president decides who he wants and where he wants the person.”

“His coming does not have any issue with the consequential adjustment. The challenge we are having is the implementation of the minimum wage for federal workers, not all workers.”

Similarly, the Deputy General Secretary of the United Labour Congress (ULC), Chris Onyeka, said that the ministry, though saddled with people who are unprofessional, however, stressed that with Keyamo as a lawyer and a pseudo-activist before, that may quicken him to know the labour ministry better.

“While we welcome him, we hope he will use his background in the struggle to be able to elevate and protect the interest of Nigerian workers. We hope he will bring those capacities and capabilities we knew him with.

“As a trade unionist, Keyamo has also represented some of us in one way or the other, though he didn’t do well, as his legal experience would not suffice, he would now have to learn practically on the job. We are ready to work with him so that we will become better and deliver to the social partners.

“I do not see him as standing against the proposition of the new minimum wage, although he will follow the directive of the labour minister. I see him supporting the minister to ensure the minimum wage is appropriately and quickly implemented,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the immediate redeployment of two ministers of state in a statement from the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF).

Keyamo would now leave the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry as minister of state for the Labour and Employment Ministry in the same capacity, while Senator Tayo Alasoadura, would, on the other hand, head for the Niger Delta Ministry as minister of state.


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