Following the recent layoff of many employees by the banking and telecommunication sector, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has berated the Nigeria Employers Consultative Assembly, NECA for their support in the exercise.

 Ngige said that NECA, an umbrella body for employers in the private sector is nothing more than irresponsible and unpatriotic.

The statement made by the minister through the Deputy Director, Press, in the Ministry, Prince Samuel Olowookere said, “If government has been intervening and shall continue to intervene to save banks and allied institutions, even the aviation industry, in times of distress without allowing the free market rules to solely reign, therefore not forcing some of them to go under, the same government can equally make minimum demands from this private sector in the overall interests of the nation. Our authority in this instance is not only statutory but also moral.

“Therefore, we wish to state clearly once more, that the intention of government rather than being punitive on these financial institutions is to safeguard national interest by staving off unnecessary job losses and hence avert its real and potential threat to the already fragile security situation and stability of the nation.

“Government intention is guided by the fact that there are clear alternatives to the abrasive lay-off of thousands of workers especially in the background of non-compliance with laid-down rules on redundancy as clearly enunciated in our labour laws.

He furthered that it is only a government that does not put the interest of its masses at heart that will treat with levity the laying off of a good number of people in the country.