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Labour seeks new social contract for economic recovery

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Organised labour, yesterday, advocated a new social contract to engender economic recovery and sustenance, insisting that this was necessary to ensure that the economy recovered quickly.

It made the submission on the sidelines of the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW), which held yesterday globally.

It argued that a new social contract would build the resilience required to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and inequality.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, said a new social contract anchored on shared prosperity and social justice was central to efforts aimed at recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said to withstand further disruptions caused by the pandemic and other health and socio-economic dislocations, there was the need to design a recovery plan that would help rebuilds the social contract between governments and societies, hoisted on the foundations of resilience.

Wabba maintained that to achieve this, government must prioritise decent work to restore economic growth and build a new global economy that would put people and the planet first.

He also canvassed revitalisation of the world economic system to create a broader enabling environment for the sustenance of the fundamental rights at work.

“The current global economic model is flawed as it has entrenched inequality and insecurity for working people and their families in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

“To promote inclusion and reduce the inequality gap, we demand adequately funded universal public health, education and care, while just transitions for climate and technology should be central in economic planning and policy formulation,” he stated.

On his part, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Quadri Olaleye, who spoke at the event organised by the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), said the fall of international oil prices had destabilised the macroeconomic balances, thereby further increasing the number of Nigerians living in poverty.

“We advise the Federal Government to urgently carry out some bold reforms, robust fiscal and monetary policy actions to reduce the number of Nigerians who may be pushed into poverty and crimes,” he said.

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