By Ebenezer Ishola
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended the planned strike to commence on Wednesday over the removal of the petrol subsidy.
The congress announced the suspension of the proposed nationwide strike and mass protest after a meeting of its leadership and representatives of the federal government.
The labour centres and the federal government are to reconvene on June 19.
TheCable reported that NLC and the representatives of the federal government team were meeting over the fallout of the petrol subsidy removal.
Joe Ajaero, president of the NLC, and his team arrived at the presidential villa at about 5:45 pm on Monday.
The NLC was absent at the meeting between the government representatives and organised labour on Sunday.
Representatives of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) were however in attendance.
Shortly after the commencement of Monday’s sit-down, TheCable reported that the national industrial court had restrained TUC and NLC from embarking on the industrial action.
Delivering the ruling on Monday, Olufunke Anuwe, the presiding judge, said the unions should halt the planned strike pending the hearing and determination of the ex parte motion filed by the federal government.
During his inauguration speech on May 29, President Bola Tinubu declared that “petrol subsidy is gone”.
The president’s pronouncement immediately led to a resurfacing of queues at petrol stations and a hike in the pump price of the product across the country.
Organised labour had subsequently met with the government team but the sit-down ended in deadlock and was rescheduled for Sunday.
The labour unions are insisting that the new price template from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) should be reverted to the old pump price before there will be any meaningful negotiation.
Federal government representatives at the last meeting included Dele Alake, spokesperson for the government’s delegation; group CEO of NNPCL Mele Kyari; governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele; and Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo state.
George Akume, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF); Zacch Adedeji, executive secretary of the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC); and Yemi Adetunji, executive vice president, downstream, of the NNPCL, were also in attendance.
RESOLUTIONS REACHED AT THE MEETING
At the end of the meeting, organised labour and the government team agreed to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.
Part of the resolution also was for the federal government, the Trade Union Congress (TUC and the NLC to review the World Bank-financed cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the programme.
Others are that the federal government and organised labour would revive the CNG conversion programme earlier agreed with Labor centres in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing.
They are to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation as well as look into and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.
The federal government is to provide a framework for the maintenance of roads and the expansion of rail networks across the country.