By Business A.M.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have resolved to suspend the nationwide strike planned to commence on Wednesday, June 7, over the removal of petrol subsidy by the new government.
The resolution was reached after a meeting between representatives of the federal government and the labour unions on Monday, June 5 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where it was agreed that the NLC will suspend notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations.
The TUC and the NLC agreed to continue ongoing engagements with the federal government and secure closure on the resolutions. The parties also agreed that the labour unions and the federal government will meet on June 19, 2023, to agree on an implementation framework.
The federal government was represented at the meeting by Femi Gbajabiamila, the chief of staff to President Bola Tinubu; Kachollom Daju, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment; and Dele Alake, Tinubu’s spokesperson. The organised labour unions were represented by Joe Ajero, the NLC president and Festus Usifo, the TUC president.
According to the statement signed by representatives of both parties, they resolved to form a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.
They also resolved that the joint committee made up of the federal government, the TUC, and the NLC will review the World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme, meant to cushion the effect of the petrol subsidy removal.
The statement partly read: “Following the engagements between the Federal Government, TUC and the 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:
“1. 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.
“2. 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 program.
“3. The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion program earlier agreed with Labor centers in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.
“4. The Labour centers and the Federal Government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.
“5. The Labour centers and the Federal Government to review and establish the framework for the completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.
“6. The Federal Government to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and the expansion of rail networks across the country
“7. All other demands submitted by the TUC to the Federal Government will be assessed by the joint committee.”
Commenting on the proposed resolution, Joe Ajero, the NLC President said, “These are the framework for us to follow in achieving some of the agreements reached here.
“You can see that it is not yet in concrete terms. So, at the adjourned date, we will go into more specifics to make sure this knotty issue is resolved.”
On his part, Festus Osifo, the TUC president maintained the organised labour are committed to resolving the issues raised and alleviating the suffering of vulnerable Nigerians following the discontinuance of subsidy.
Osifo, therefore, urged the federal government to take the resolutions seriously and commit to get the issues resolved as soon as possible.
“So for us from labour, we are totally committed to get these issues resolved for the benefit of Nigerians,” he said.