THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 5, No. 1, 2007
Social Dialogue Under Globalization in Nigeria: Does Democracy Add Value?
Ifeanyi P. Onyeonoru & Kehinde Kester
University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Social dialogue as an aspect of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is aimed at promoting industrial democracy by encouraging consensus building among social partners in the work place. The significance lies, among others, in minimising conflicts to enable harmonious industrial relations. This study utilized specific case illustrations to examine the inclination of the Nigerian government towards social dialogue in government-labour relations, with particular reference to the Obasanjo era 1999-2007— a period associated with the globalization of democracy. The cases
included the minimum wage award 2000, University Autonomy Bill, the price deregulation of the downstream oil sector and the Trade Union Amendment Bill 2004. It was found that the government exhibited a penchant for authoritarianism in spite of the globalization of democracy. This was evident in the incapacity of the Obasanjo government to engage the social partners in social dialogue as indicated by the cases reviewed. The study, however, highlighted the modest contribution to social dialogue made by the wider democratic structure. It was concluded that the government had limited capacity for consensus building, accommodation of opposition and negotiated outcomes in government-labour relations