Governor El-Rufai says labour leaders are selfish

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El Rufai.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has advocated the removal of labour matters from the exclusive list of the 1999 constitution, to save Nigeria of endless strikes and acts of impunity by labour unions.

To the governor, the organized labour in Nigeria are irresponsible, selfish and are destroying the country with their alleged excesses.

The governor, who spoke on the issue in Abuja at the ‘Governance Matters’ roundtable organized by the Development Alternate Incorporation, accused labour of promoting endless workers strike against popular government policies.

El-Rufai also want the strict enforcement of the principle of no-work-no-pay on the striking workers, so as to reduce acts of impunity and unnecessary demands by labour unions.

He said, “Trade Unions have never served the country well. They have been selfish and everything is about their narrow interests. In general, in Nigeria, trade unions have been a danger to our progress and I think they should be curtailed.

“The mistake we made as a country was placing trade unions in the Exclusive Legislative List. If the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has an issue with the federal government, then the State universities will go on strike too.

“In Kaduna, I warned the Kaduna State University, that if ‘you ever go on strike again because of somebody else, I will fire all of you. I think we need to do some things.

“First, take labour matters out of the Exclusive List because many of us are victims of agreements reached with ASUU by the federal government. The States were never part of such agreements.

“Secondly, is the issue of minimum wage. Except we set a very low minimum wage, there will continue to be issues especially with States that do not have wide tax net. You cannot set the same minimum wage for Lagos and Jigawa”.

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