Organized Labor last night put off its planned strike over the removal of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government. The NLC served a strike notice due to commence tomorrow, the day after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his inauguration address declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.
The presidential announcement led to a knee-jerk reaction from petrol marketers, who immediately shut down filling stations and hiked product prices.
Prices of other commodities went up astronomically. Yesterday’s meeting was a follow-up to two earlier meetings on May 31 and June 4.
The communiqué issued last night said: “Following the engagements between the Federal Government and TUC/NLC, with the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representatives to resolve the disputes that arose from the withdrawal of subsidy on PMS, the following resolutions were reached:
“The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.
“The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to review the World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme.
“The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG (compressed natural gas) conversion program earlier agreed with Labor centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.
“The Labour centres and the Federal Government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.
“The Labour centres and the Federal Government to review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.
“The Federal Government to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and expansion of rail networks across the country.
“All other demands submitted by the TUC to the Federal Government will be assessed by the joint committee.”
It was decided that the proposed strike will be called off.
The resolution added: “Consequently, the parties agreed follows: the NLC to suspend the notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations.
“The TUC and the NLC to continue the ongoing engagements with the Federal Government and secure closure on the resolutions above.
“The Labour Centers and the Federal Government to meet on June 19, 2023, to agree on an implementation framework.”
The resolution was signed by TUC President Festus Osifo; NLC President Joseph Ajaero; TUC Secretary General Nuhu Torò and NLC General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Kachollom S. Daju, and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila signed for the Federal Government.
Others in the government’s team at the meeting were former Edo State Governor and Senator-elect Adams Oshiomhole; the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari; former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Dele Alake; and House of Representatives member James Faleke.
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele; former Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo (SAN); Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) Zacch Adedeji; and Executive Vice President, Downstream of the NNPCL Yemi Adetunji were also present, among others.
The resolution came hours after the National Industrial Court in Abuja restrained Labour from proceeding with the strike.