History and Development of Industrial Relations In Nigeria: Hybridity of Western Models Versus Military Interventionism Culture

Moses Adesola Adebisi


The history and development of industrial relations in Nigeria is one that sprouted out of its colonial history which the British practiced and bequeathed to the post colonial independent Nigerian government led by the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who became first Nigeria’s Prime Minister on October 1, 1960, and the military culture of power seizure and interventionism. The colonialists established an industrial relations system that presented a structure of an admixture of the Anglo-Saxon model of tripartism (that is, a system of industrial relations which involved interaction among the key actors: employers, employees and government) and interventionism, which rely on the use of force to enforce compliance and prevention of industrial action. The paper attempts to establish a causal relationship between this hybridity of colonial rule and military intervention on the one hand, and the present day crisis-ridden industrial relations system of Nigeria. That is, it tries to show how the form of industrial relations system of Nigeria today reflects largely its historical antecedents. The paper concludes that the present day labour-management relations system of Nigeria can be properly appreciated if a cursory examination is conducted into its colonial history vis-à-vis its post-colonial military government and labour reforms that are designed mainly to establish the legal prescriptions and proscriptions for labour activities, employee-employer relations and labour relations with the government and its regulatory agencies.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n14p687

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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