The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have warned President Buhari against reappointing Chris Ngige as the Minister of Labour and Productivity. Ngige is amongst the 43 Ministerial nominees sent by President Buhari to the Senate for confirmation
NLC Secretary, Peter Ozo, made the position of the union known in an interview with Punch. According to Ozo, President Buhari will be inviting trouble if he dares reappoints Ngige as Labour Minister.
Recall that Ngige during his tenure as Minister of Labour in President Buhari’s first term in office, clashed with NLC leaders over the delayed inauguration of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board.
Speaking in the interview, Ozo said the President should look for another Ministry to fix Ngige in so as to avoid any crisis with the labour unions.
“We think that government will be looking for problem if Ngige is returned to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity as minister because he does not understand how the place works and his own approach will create an unnecessary industrial crisis. If the government is properly advised, it should look for where to put him. Ngige is a square peg in a round hole in the ministry.”
Reacting to the NLC’s position, Ngige who spoke through his personal assistant, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, said the former minister has no personal rift with the NLC leaders.
“It is the responsibility of the president to appoint and assign portfolios to ministers. Ngige will willingly serve in whichever ministry the president so decides. Besides, he has no personal issue with labour. What happened at the end of the last term was a matter of steadfastness to the rule of law or otherwise.
He chose the rule of law in respect of the appointment of the chairman of the board of the NSITF. Don’t forget that labour later saw reason with his action, forcing the (former) president of the TUC at the valedictory organised by the ministry on May 26, 2019, to apologise on behalf of labour while commending him for his unimpeachable labour administration style.”