President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja declared his administration’s commitment to boosting national productivity, by among other things, taking all necessary actions to end incessant strikes by workers in vital sectors of the Nigerian economy.
At a meeting with the Permanent Secretary and Directors of the Federal Ministry of Labour, President Buhari said that he was particularly disturbed by the seemingly endless strikes in
Nigeria’s health sector which have contributed to the fall in the standard of health services available in the country.
The President directed the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Clement Iloh and Directors in the Ministry of Labour to liaise with other stakeholders and quickly work out proposals for ending the recurring strikes in the health, education, transport, oil and gas, power and other critical sectors of the national economy.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was also present at the meeting, urged Dr. Iloh and his staff to make an input to ongoing plans for the extension of welfare services to poor and disabled persons.
Iloh had earlier attributed some of the recurrent strikes in the country to the inclination of some government officials to enter into agreements with financial implications without carrying the Ministries of Finance and Labour along.
He said that the Ministry of Labour has now introduced a Code of Conduct for Government Negotiators barring them from entering into agreements with financial implications without the consent of the President.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday waded into the problems preventing some retirees from accessing their retirement benefits.
He directed the Pensions Commission (PENCOM) to urgently look into such complaints.
The Director General of PENCOM, Dr. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, disclosed this to State House correspondents after briefing the President on the affairs of the pension Industry.
“The President has also directed for an immediate resolution because you also have to be mindful of the situation we live in, most of them who are not able to access their benefits, had to do with accrued rights. The problems involved those who were federal government workers and had moved to the contributory pension systems midway into their career.
“So they have accrued rights coming from their past service under the defined benefit under the federal government and what you have is because our budget is not as robust as we would wish, we have dwindling resources and every sector of the economy is affected.
“But the President has also directed that this matter be looked into and prioritized so that those who have retired receive their payment benefits as at when due.”
According to her, President Buhari also directed PENCOM to work with the National Economic Council (NEC) to ensure that all the states are in full compliance with PENCOM as soon as possible.