Labour, Employment Minister, Lalong bags NASU fellowship award
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By our correspondent
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has bestowed the NASU Fellowship Award on the Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Bako Lalong in recognition of his long standing positive relationship with the labour movement in Nigeria particularly NASU.
General Secretary of NASU Comrade Peters Adeyemi while presenting the award to the Minister at the 8th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Union in Abuja said the body considered his records of service as Governor of Plateau State where he did a lot to improve the lot of the workers by addressing their grievances.
This was contained in a statement by Dr. Makut Simon Macham, Special Adviser on Media to Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment to Apex News Exclusive.
He also said that the Minister has brought in a fresh impetus into government-labour relations since assuming office at the Ministry of Labour and Employment which made it possible for some labour challenges to be addressed and resolved without elongation under the Tinubu administration.
Peters said the Minister has also promoted more closer working relationship with the organised Labour and in particular NASU who have been partners in building a robust relationship with government and the private sector.
While receiving the award, the Minister said he was humbled by the kind consideration of the body for him to be part of history.
He said “The significance of this fellowship award lies in the fact that it speaks of the robust partnership that exists between the Government, Labour movement in general, and NASU in particular towards building harmonious industrial relations in Nigeria. Without cultivating and sustaining cordial industrial relations with workers, the Government cannot achieve its objectives of serving the people and renewing their hope”.
Lalong used the opportunity to specially thank NASU for their maturity in pursuing the welfare of its members and making itself available for dialogue with government in many occasions saying they have demonstrated that strikes are not the preferred options and are counter-productive in many cases.
The Minster expressed hope that this determination will be sustained so as to ensure that the academic calendar is sacrosanct in Nigeria.
“Already, Mr. President has vowed to address the problems that have been causing instability in our educational system. One of the steps taken is to ensure that the Student Loan Scheme takes off next year to guarantee funding for indigent students. Other outstanding grievances of various unions including NASU are being given necessary attention for enduring solutions”.
According to Lalong, any moment from now, Mr. President will inaugurate the National Minimum Wage Review Committee to begin work on the new minimum wage expected to take effect in the second quarter on next year. This clearly shows that unlike in the past, the Renewed Hope administration of President Tinubu will continue to be proactive rather than reactive on labour matters.
Director General of the Nigerian Institute for Labour Studies, Ilorin, Comrade Issa Aremu congratulated the Minister over his award and said it is well-deserved giving his wonderful records with the labour.
He urged members of NASU to strengthen their participation in NLC and reinvigorate the movement which clearly needs to be upscalled.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Agricultural Research Council, Professor Garba Sharubutu was also given an award by NASU for his service and support to the union.
There was also a goodwill message from the DG NIPSS who was represented by Mrs Catherine Maduagwu.
Earlier, the Minister had attended an interactive meeting at the Senate on the 2024 appropriation.