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Labour unrest and underdevelopment in Nigeria.

Labour unrest is a key obstacle to growth in Nigeria. This is due to the fact that no nation can develop without human resources, which constitute and play a vital role in nation formation and development.

The Nigerian case has been so pervasive that labour unrest extends to every situation when the government makes major public policy decisions that appear to affect the labour union and the masses in general without due consultation of labour statements;

especially those that affect the social life of their members and welfare packages of the entire masses, specifically those that affect socioeconomic and political aspects, on which Nigerian development is dependent.

Thus, in our endeavour to analyse and examine this problem, we used the relative deprivation theory as a theoretical framework, as well as the documentary research method for data collection and analysis.

This research, Labour unrest and underdevelopment in Nigeria: An appraisal from 2000 to 2013, is being conducted to analyse various methods of reducing labour unrest. This study, however, is organised into five chapters.

Chapter one discusses the study’s background, problem statement, purpose of the investigation, importance of the study, hypotheses, method of data collecting and analysis, scope and limitation of the study, and definition of terminology.

The second chapter discusses Nigeria’s state policies and labour unrest. In Chapter 3, we discussed labour unrest and underdevelopment. Chapter four of this paper discussed ways for reducing labour unrest in Nigeria.

Finally, in chapter five, the focus turned to the summary, conclusion, recommendations, and bibliography. However, this work is incredibly insightful, engaging, and educational.

Chapter One: Introduction.

1.1 Background of the Study.

The organised labour union movements in Nigeria date back to 1912. Nigerian workers, like their counterparts in other developing countries, have seen significant changes in their situation over time. Labour unions have played an important part in the transformation of most developing countries.

The government is the major employer of labour, with private individuals employing only a small part of the working class (Fajara, 2000). Labour unions in Nigeria have emerged as key agents of socioeconomic transformation and class struggle (Aremu, 1996; Akinyanju, 1997),

beginning with the colonial fight and continuing into the post-independence era. Later, labour unions played an important part in the fight against totalitarian military control in the country. Similarly, in the current civilian system, labour


Unions are at the vanguard of the fight against unpopular government policies such as oil sector deregulation, worker layoffs, and the failure to honour wage rise agreements.

Nigeria is a third-world country with numerous labour unions dispersed around the country. Unions are organised by industry, and as of 1977, the government recognised 42 labour unions, allowing them to make significant contributions to the development of the state’s economic, social, cultural, and even political systems.

These labour unions are typically viewed as people-oriented since they resist government policies and decisions that are unfavourable to the masses through strike actions, protests, and other forms of labour unrest.

However, in a multiethnic democratic country like Nigeria, there are various labour unions around the country. But for the purpose of our study, we will dwell.


More on labour unions that have successfully influenced government policies and decisions. In the past, such as the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),

Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAU), and Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ).

However, it is vital to remember that the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) was created and inaugurated in 1978, and the 42 industrial unions became affiliates of the Nigerian Labour Congress under the trade union amendment Decree 22 of 1978.

Following their opposition to General Babangida’s anti-people Structural Adjustment programme, the trade union was reformed in 1989 into 29 associate unions of the Nigerian Labour Congress.


As a result, in 2005, Section 33 (2) of the Trade Union Act was altered to substitute “organisation” for the phrase, with the purpose of weakening trade union solidarity.

Since time immemorial, labour unrest has been at the forefront of criticism and opposition. In Nigeria, whenever the government’s policies make life difficult for its citizenry.

Nonetheless, most organised labour activities in the form of unrest to oppose government policies and initiatives frequently end in underdevelopment and economic grounding, resulting in revenue losses and other economic activities.

However, it is not unrealistic to claim that one of the major causes of labour unrest and, as a result, underdevelopment is government policies.



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