The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige has intervened in the misunderstandings over the use of the Eagle Square Abuja as venue for the commemoration of the 2023 May Day festivities.
While the controversies raged on, Olajide Oshundun, Director of Press and Public Relations,Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment released a statement clarifying the latest position.
He said the attention of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige has been drawn to press releases and statements in the media that the Federal Government disapproved of the NLC using the Eagle Square for the annual May Day parade, for reasons bordering on the preparation of the venue for the May 29 inauguration of President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to the ministry’s media manager, upon receiving the report, the Minister contacted his colleague, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello, who blamed the development on some overzealous officials, acting without his authority.
Bello also confirmed that there was a minor communication gap between the FCDA, the Federal Government Transition Committee and the NLC.
“It was actually the contractor handling the renovation of the Eagle Square, Merrs Julius Berger that informed the Transition Committee for the hand over ceremony that they erected their equipment even before last Thursday when the Nigerian Army used the venue for an event attended by the President,” he told Ngige through the phone.
Olajide also stated that the FCT Minister has assured the Minister of Labour and Employment that the place is available for NLC to use on May 1, which is the workers day.
According to him, this May Day is the last in the life of this administration.
He noted that NLC parade belongs to everybody, including government, diplomatic missions, international organisations, organised labour and affiliate unions and members of the public.
He said the President, Ministers and others cannot shut themselves out. The Eagle Square is still available for all these individuals.
“All invited people should make themselves available for the parade at Eagle Square, most especially the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), the diplomatic missions and the international partners.
“The Minister of Labour and Employment has been in touch with the leadership of organised Labour led by Comrade Joe Ajaero and has briefed them on these developments and equally extended the apologies of the Honourable Minister of FCT for the unintended embarrassment occasioned by the action of their officials who misinterpreted the general intention and work plan of one month of Messrs Julius Berger the company incharge of the renovation of the Eagle Square for the May29 inauguration to also include the May1, 2023.
“The FCT Administration has promised to give all necessary material support to make the event hitch free and successful, while the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment wishes all Nigerian Workers a blissful Workers day on May 1,” the statement added.