By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
Malam Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, says the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) will consider the offers made by the Federal Government with a view to suspend their planned strike.
This is contained in a statement signed by Idris on Sunday in Abuja.
He said this was one of the decisions reached at the Sunday meeting between the labour unions and government, adding that it would allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions reached.
According to him, the parties noted that, the Federal Government has already announced N35,000 as provisional wage increment for all treasury-paid federal government workers for six months.
“Also, the Federal Government is committed to fast-tracking the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidy.
“The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds for micro and small-scale enterprises.
“VAT on diesel will be waived for the next six months,” the minister added.
Idris further explained that the federal government would commence payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month, for a three-month period, from October to December 2023.
The minister also stated that the meeting observed that the issues in dispute could only be resolved when workers are at work and not when they are on strike.
Idris, who was part of the meeting, revealed that the labour unions argued for higher wage while the federal government team promised to present their requests to President Bola Tinubu for further consideration.
“A sub-committee will be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above,” the minister said.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Gov. AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman of Kwara, and Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun participated in the meeting virtually, which was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.
Also in attendance were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; Minister of State for Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu.
Others were the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite; the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan; and the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu.
Similarly, the labour delegation was led by the NLC President, Joe Ajaero; Deputy President of TUC, Dr Tommy Etim Okon; NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, and General Secretary of TUC, Nuhu Toro, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NLC and TUC had directed their members and affiliates nationwide to begin mobilisation for an indefinite strike that would commence on Oct. 3. (NAN)