Ngige Makes Position Known After NLC Rejects Him As Minister Of Labour

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has sounded a warning to President Muhammadu Buhari saying that there will be an industrial crisis if the immediate past Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, is returned to serve in that capacity.

However, the former Minister has responded.

The secretary of the NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, in an interview with THE PUNCH, urged the Federal Government to give the former Anambra State Governor a new portfolio in the next cabinet.

Ngige was listed as one of the 43 ministerial nominees who are currently undergoing screening by the Red Chambers.

Ngige had clashed with leaders of the NLC while serving as Minister of Labour, due to the delay in the inauguration of the National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) board.

The NLC secretary had accused Ngige of not being fit for the role as he had no understanding of the working of the ministry.

“We think that government will be looking for a problem if Ngige is returned to the Ministry of Labour and Productivity as a minister because he does not understand how the place works and his approach will create an unnecessary industrial crisis,” he said.

“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.”

The personal assistant to Ngige, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, in a swift reaction, said that the ex-minister did not have any personal rift with the leaders of the NLC.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he said.

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