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Fuel Subsidy: NLC, TUC Suspend Planned Strike

by Silverbird News24

The planned nationwide indefinite strike called for Wednesday  by both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to protest last week’s withdrawal of fuel subsidy by Federal Government has been called off by the two unions.

This was one of the seven-point resolutions arrived at on Monday night at the end of a negotiation meeting between the federal government, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and the NLC held at the Conference room of the Chief of Staff at the State House, Abuja.

Reading out the one-page communiqué issued at the end of the over six-hour long meeting, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, who led the government side, said seven resolutions were reached to address the situation.

According to him, three agreements were reached including the suspension of the planned nationwide strike, scheduled to take off on Wednesday and the need for the negotiation teams to reconvene on June 19, 2023 to agree on the implementation of the frameworks.

The communiqué was signed by six members of the negotiating team, including the President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero; President of the TUC, Festus Osifo; Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms. Kachollom S. Daju; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

According to the communique, the agreement are that “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”, it said.

The communique further 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:

“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 World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose inclusion of low-income earners in the program.

“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.

“The Labour centers and the Federal Government to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.

“The Labour centers 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”.

President Bola Tinubu had on May 29 while giving his speech after his inauguration at Eagles Square in Abuja declared that fuel subsidy regime was gone for good which led to increase in fuel price by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

This elicited immediate reaction from both the NLC and TUC who claimed necessary consultations were not made by government before removing the fuel subsidy.

A meeting called last Wednesday by government to resolve the issue with the two unions was stalemated leading to the meeting being adjourned to last Sunday which the NLC however refused to attend.

It was yesterday’s meeting that was able to bring all the parties together again leading to the resolutions reached after the stormy meeting.

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