The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) has issued a stark warning regarding the planned strike by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) scheduled for Monday. OPSN expressed deep concerns, emphasizing that the impending strike poses a significant threat to the nation’s economy.
In a statement released on Sunday and signed by Mr. Wale Oyerinde, the Director-General of the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), OPSN called upon the Federal Government and labor unions to diligently collaborate in averting the potential disruption of socioeconomic activities in the country.
The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria comprises five prominent business membership organizations, including the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Nigerian Association of Small-Scale Industrialists.
OPSN stressed the precarious state of the country’s economic indicators and pointed out that the nation cannot afford a nationwide strike at this critical juncture.
According to the statement, “We have closely monitored the ongoing consultations between the government and the National Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC). It is clear that the numerous dialogues have not yielded positive results, and the latter has resolved, in one way or another, to proceed with the protest/strike.”
OPSN emphasized that the critical condition of the economy and the potentially devastating impact of a nationwide strike were not adequately considered.
The statement raised concerns about the economy’s negative image and the deteriorating livelihood of ordinary Nigerians due to continuous disagreements between the government and labor unions.
While recognizing the labor unions’ right to pursue the welfare of their members, OPSN implored the government to engage in renewed discussions with union leadership to find an amicable solution and prevent the impending disruption of business activities.
OPSN also urged both parties to consider the dire state of the economy and the potential unintended consequences of social unrest that may arise from protests.
The statement advised businesses to exercise caution and take measures to protect their assets and maintain operations in the event of a strike.
OPSN stressed the need for a constructive dialogue between labor unions and the government to resolve their issues without adversely affecting the livelihood of ordinary Nigerians and business operations.
The private sector appealed to the government to uphold its commitments made during negotiations and to refrain from making promises it cannot fulfill. At the same time, labor unions were encouraged to realistically assess their demands in light of prevailing economic realities.
As the nation stands on the brink of potential industrial action, OPSN calls for a balanced approach that prioritizes the welfare of citizens and the stability of the business environment.