The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered the organised labour, comprising the Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress not to embark on its indefinite strike scheduled to commence on November 6.
Justice Sanusi Kado, on Friday, gave the order in a ruling on an ex parte application moved on behalf of the Federal Government by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata.
Agreeing with Apata, Justice Kado ruled that if the strike is allowed it would lead to huge economic loss to both public and private institutions and could jeopardise the health of many Nigerians who would not be able to access health facilities during the period.
The organised labour had threatened to commence an indefinite strike action to press for the increase in the national minimum wage from the current N18,000.
The last meeting of the tripartite negotiation committee on the minimum wage had ended in deadlock after the Federal Government insisted that it could only afford to pay N25,000, while the governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum had held on to N22,500 and the labour N30,000.
Apart from the NLC and the TUC, the NGF is also joined as a defendant in the suit.
Justice Kado adjourned the matter till November 8 for the hearing of the motion on notice seeking the interlocutory injunction to stop the strike.
The judge ordered that the court order and other papers be filed on all the defendants.
He ruled, “In view of all that I have been saying above, it is the overall interest of justice and stability of the society to grant the order of interim injunction against the 1st and 2nd defendants (NLC and TUC), their members, privies, agents, proxies, workmen, or servants from embarking on or taking part in the planned strike or industrial action scheduled to commence on November 6, 2018, in whatever form pending the hearing or determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction which is pending before the court.
“It is also necessary to grant an order of interim injunction restraining the 1st and 2nd defendants (NLC and TUC), their members, privies, agents, proxies, employees, workmen, or servants from engaging or taking part in any conduct or act in contemplation or furtherance of the strike or industrial action scheduled to commence on November 6, 2018, pending the hearing and determination5 of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
The suit marked, NICN/ABJ/287/2018, was filed on November 1, 2018 in the name of the Federal Government and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, as the 1st and 2nd claimants, respectively.