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Subsidy removal: NLC suspends planned strike

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), yesterday, confirmed that it will no longer proceed with its nationwide strike planned for Wednesday.

The decision was part of resolutions announced by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and confirmed by the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, after a nearly six-hour meeting between the Federal Government and the organised labour at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Monday’s engagement is the third in a series of meetings between the government and key labour stakeholders after the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, announced the discontinuance of petroleum subsidy exactly one week ago.

At Monday’s meeting, the parties agreed that “The NLC will suspend notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations.

“The TUC and the NLC to continue ongoing engagements with the Federal Government and secure closure on the resolutions.

“The labour centres and the Federal Government to meet on June 19, 2023 to agree on an implementation framework.”

Gbajabiamila also announced that the FG, TUC and NLC are to establish a joint committee to review the proposal of any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.

The Federal Government, TUC and NLC will also review the $800m World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose inclusion of low-income earners in the program.

Monday’s resolution also include the review of the CNG conversion program earlier agreed with labour centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.

The Labour centres and the FG will also review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.

The labour centres and the FG will review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.

This also includes a provision of a framework for the maintenance of roads and expansion of rail networks nationwide.

“All other demands submitted by the TUC to the Federal Government will be assessed by the joint committee,” the Speaker said.

On his part, the NLC President said “These are the framework for us to follow in achieving some of the agreements reached here.

“You can see that not is yet in concrete terms. So, at the adjourned date, we will go into more specifics to make sure this knotty issue is resolved.”

Asked if the strike had indeed been suspended, Ajaero said “I thought that the speaker read it out.”

The President of TUC, Festus Osifo, said the organised labour are committed to resolving the issues raised and alleviating the suffering of those vulnerable Nigerians following the discontinuance of subsidy.

However, he urged the FG to take the resolutions seriously.

“So I want us to commit to get these 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,” Osifo said.

In attendance were the former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, Hon. James Faleke, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Kachollom Daju are among others representing the FG.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele and former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, later joined the government’s delegation.

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