The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has explained that his absence at the 2019 workers’ day celebrations in Abuja has nothing to do with his current face-off with the organised labour over the headship of the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), but his ill health.
Newsmen report that the Minister was conspicuously absent at the annual event to celebrate workers which was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
At the event, Ayuba Wabba, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, President, in his address to workers, alluded that the Minister was absent because of their disagreement over the NSITF board.
It was gathered that workers had also planned to boo the Minister at the event.
But in a two-paragraph statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Nwachukwu Obidiwe, Senator Ngige said he was absent as a result of ill-health.
The statement reads: “Contrary to uncivilized attitude and barefaced lies contained in the address of the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, I wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige was absent at Wednesday’s Worker’s Day rally for reasons of ill health.
“The Minister has been down with flu since last Sunday. He met his doctors last Monday and has since been at home recuperating.”
His address to workers was however delivered by the Minister of state for Labour and Employment, Stephen Ocheni.