The planned indefinite strike set to commence on October 3 by organized labour (NLC) may be suspended. This decision comes after a meeting held on Sunday between the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) with representatives from the Federal Government.
The meeting, chaired by Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Femi Gbajabiamila, along with NLC President Mr. Joe Ajaero and other labor leaders, resulted in several agreements. Gbajabiamila announced that the government would take measures to address the issues arising from the removal of subsidy.
After the meeting, NLC President Ajaero stated that he would consult with union members to consider the government’s offers and potentially suspend the planned strike.
In a statement released by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mallam Mohammed Idris, the government committed to several initiatives, including a provisional wage increment of N25,000 for all treasury-paid federal government workers for six months. The government also pledged to expedite the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to alleviate transportation challenges resulting from the subsidy removal.
Furthermore, the statement mentioned that VAT on diesel would be waived for the next six months, and the government would initiate payments of N75,000 to 15 million households at a rate of N25,000 per month for three months, from October to December 2023.
Both the government and organized labour recognized that the unresolved issues could only be addressed when workers are on the job rather than on strike. The government’s team promised to present labour’s request for higher wage awards to President Bola Tinubu for further consideration.
A sub-committee will be formed to work out the implementation details of all intervention measures related to the fuel subsidy removal. Additionally, the statement acknowledged the urgent need to address the ongoing matter involving the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State. Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who participated virtually, pledged to resolve this issue.
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