Following consultations between a Federal Government delegation and leadership representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Abuja on Sunday, the federal government has agreed on a provisional wage increase of N35,000 to all treasury-paid federal government employees for a duration of six months.
However, this shows N10,000 added to the initial amount.
NLC had called for an indefinite strike for Tuesday, saying the government revoked the fuel subsidy without providing relief to cushion its effects.
However, during the discussions, the Federal Government reiterated its commitment to expediting the availability of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to alleviate the hike in transportation and petrol fares.
Furthermore, the government pledged support for micro and small-scale enterprises and announced a six-month waiver on VAT for diesel.
Additionally, the government disclosed its plan to commence monthly payments of N75,000 to 15 million households, disbursed at N25,000 per month, starting from October through December 2023.
In a statement, the government emphasised its desire for industrial harmony, urging labour unions not to embark on strike actions.
It pointed out that the pending issues could only be effectively addressed while workers are actively engaged in their duties.
In response to the labour unions’ request for wage increments, a sub-committee will be established to outline the implementation details of all interventions aimed at mitigating the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
Addressing the longstanding matter involving the Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State was also highlighted as an urgent concern.
The statement, signed by the Minister of Information, Mallam Muhammad Idris, said the unions would review the government’s offer and consider suspending the planned strike action, allowing for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions reached.
Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), as well as Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, participated virtually in the meeting, which was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Dr Femi Gbajabiamila.
Also present were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; the Minister of State for Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu; the 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 (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
The labour delegation was led by NLC President, Joe Ajaero; Dr Tommy Etim Okon, Deputy President of TUC; NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja; TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, among other representatives.
Reporting by Abdallah Bello; Editing by Julian osamoto and Tony Okerafor