Industrial harmony can resolve contemporary challenges- Onyechere

Martha Obi, Abuja

Mr Ike Onyechere

The Chairman, Exam Ethics Marshals International, Mr Ike Onyechere has stated that an atmosphere of sustained industrial harmony to resolve contemporary challenges was needed in Nigeria.

Mr Onyechere made this statement at Abuja while addressing National Conference on New Blueprint for conflict resolution.

He said Nigeria is in the middle of very serious political, social, economic, demographic, cultural and technological changes with their associated domino effects that are increasingly creating intended and unintended conflicts.

Also, conflicts if left unresolved for a long time, leads to hardening of positions, degenerates to industrial actions.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige said that national resources had dwindled due to falling oil price at the international market compounded by corruption of past administration.

All of these according to him, have serious implications for the conduct of smooth industrial relations practice in the country. Also, the change Mantra of the present administration is there predicated on new constructs of accountability, transparency, quality leadership, prudent management of the nation’s scarce resources, building of strong institutions and transformation of the nation’s infrastructure among others.

Similarly, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba said trade unions have found themselves strengthening their capacity to protect the interest of workers from the vagaries of economic downturn.

In this process, conflict manifest in strikes, lockouts, picketing, and mass protests. The recent mass protest in Brazil that saw millions of workers on the streets calling for the impeachment of the president based on mismanagement of the economy and alleged embezzlement is just a case in point. The Nigerian situation has not been different. Since the new government came to power, the revelations of gross mismanagement and the poor economic outlook indicates that our policy makers were not in tune with the times as they had displayed surprising ineptitude and indifference to the economy, notwithstanding the fall in oil prices.

Participants are of the view that conflict is of human life- and this is also true of human institutions.

“Conflicts can only be mastered, if and when conflict are fully managed. Good preventive measures start with in –depth perception of the conflict itself.

Therefore, both employers and trade unions must be willing to make some degree of sacrifices in order to achieve the desired industrial peace and harmony at work.”