National Assembly has assured Nigerian workers that their interests would be protected while considering its report on constitution review.
Co-chairmen, Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Rt. Hon. Idris Wase, gave the assurance when the adhoc panel hosted a delegation of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC in Abuja.
Addressing the delegation led by the NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, Senator Omo-Agege assured that committee members would not impose their personal views on Nigerians at the ongoing constitution amendment exercise.
According to him, committee members would be guided strictly by best legislative practices, highest ethical standards, integrity, open mindedness, and patriotism in carrying out their assignments.
Omo-Agege said the desire of every Nigerian is that the ongoing process produces positive transformations to the country, adding that all hands should be on deck to enable the 9th National Assembly bequeath to the country a constitution that speaks to every citizen’s yearnings and aspirations.
While noting that there was no cause for alarm, he pointed out that once an area has been covered in the Exclusive List in the constitution, no state legislature can legislate on it.
He said due to importance attached to labour, the committee thought it wise to interact with labour leaders before the final vote on the floor of both legislative chambers at the end of February.
On his part, Wase emphasised that the National Assembly is wholeheartedly committed to upholding all tenets of International Labour Organisation, ILO Conventions that Nigeria is signatory to.
“The committee would not do anything that would go against internationally acceptable labour practices,” he said.
Earlier, NLC President urged the National Assembly not to transfer core labour mandates from the Exclusive to Concurrent Legislative List.
Wabba went down memory lane about the introduction of the minimum wage, noting that it would be difficult to come to the rescue of the private sector if states were allowed to fix their wages?
The labour leader said “for the sake of our national interest, security and industrial harmony, Labour should not be devolved to states, adding that the reason for Nigeria’s relative industrial growth and development into investors haven are largely attributed to the willingness of the country to subject itself to international labour standards, norms and practices.”
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