Strike Cancelled: As FG and Labour Unions Make Progress Towards Resolving Dispute

By Mohammed Bello Doka

In a press statement released today, the Federal Government announced that it had conducted a meeting on Sunday, October 1, 2023, with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss measures aimed at resolving the dispute arising from the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

During the meeting, several important points were highlighted:

i) The Federal Government has provisionally announced a wage increment of N25,000 for all treasury-paid federal government workers for a period of six months.

ii) The Federal Government has expressed its commitment to expedite the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to alleviate the transportation difficulties caused by the removal of the PMS subsidy.

iii) The Federal Government has pledged to provide funds to support micro and small-scale enterprises.

iv) VAT on diesel will be waived for the next six months.

v) The Federal Government plans to initiate a payment of N75,000 to 15 million households, distributing N25,000 per month, for a three-month period from October to December 2023.

The resolutions reached during the meeting are as follows:

i) The parties acknowledged that the issues at hand can only be resolved through constructive engagement while workers are actively at work, rather than resorting to strikes.

ii) The Labour Unions presented their argument for a higher wage award, and the Federal Government Team has promised to forward these requests to President Bola Tinubu for further consideration.

iii) A sub-committee will be established to work out the implementation details of various government interventions aimed at cushioning the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

iv) The urgent matter of the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State was also emphasized, with Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who participated virtually, vowing to address the issue.

v.) The NLC and TUC will carefully review the offers presented by the Federal Government, with the intent of suspending the planned strike in order to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the aforementioned resolutions.

The meeting, which was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, saw the virtual participation of Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State, who also serves as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State. Other dignitaries in attendance included the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, and several other esteemed government officials.

The leadership of the labour delegation consisted of NLC President, Joe Ajaero, Dr. Tommy Etim Okon, Deputy President of TUC, NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, among other notable figures.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mallam Mohammed Idris, signed the press statement.

Issued on October 1, 2023.

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