Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has complained that federal government has always thrown state governments into trouble with labour movement whenever it increases workers’ salaries without involving the states in negotiations.
The governor registered his complain Monday in Asaba when he received members of the Senior Executive Course 36 of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru at the government House in Asaba.
“The Federal Government goes into negotiations with labour leaders in Abuja without involving the states and reach agreements which are expected to be binding on all. Most states do not have the financial capacity to implement these decisions and this has led to frequent strike actions and disharmony in the affected states”, he stated.
He emphasized that oftentimes, most states do not have the financial capacity to pay allowances and wages agreed with the organised labour by the Federal Government, adding that industrial disharmony witnessed in the states could therefore be easily linked with payment of agreed wages and allowances between the Federal Government and the organised labour, as the agreements are assumed to be binding on the states even when they lack the capacity to pay.
This industrial disharmony, he argued, could be avoided if the states are allowed to be part of the negotiations with labour and pay agreed wages and allowances in line with their capacity
He called on the federal government to learn to involve state governments in negotiations of wages and allowances with the organised labour.
The Governor lauded the theme of the study which is ‘Industrial Relations, Labour Productivity and National Development’ and expressed hope that the course participants will proffer lasting solution to industrial disharmony in the country.
He said that the ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ initiative of his administration is aimed at positioning the state to be less dependent on revenue from oil and gas.
The governor said that despite that the state being is rich in oil and gas, his administration is diversifying its economy for it to be more buoyant.
Uduaghan called on the industrialists to take advantage of the friendly investment environment in Delta State, assuring that such industrialists will have quick returns on their investments.
He called for short-term courses for political office holders and politicians, even as he noted that the way NIPSS courses are structured made it difficult for politicians to benefit from.
“NIPSS should organise shorter courses that will be for one or two weeks because it will be difficult for political leaders to leave office to attend the one year course.”
Leader of the study team which comprises sixteen Nigerians from different sectors of the economy, Ambassador Adamu Abbas told the Governor that they were on a study tour of the state which seeks to proffer solutions to recurring strike actions by the organised labour.
“The Federal Government is worried with the frequency.”
He said that Nigeria needs industrial harmony for improved productivity.