NLC and TUC was to lead a nationwide strike Tuesday, October 3, if government failed to meet the demand for a salary award for workers and other interventions to cushion the hardship brought about by the removal of fuel subsidy.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended its proposed industrial action slated for October 3 for thirty days to compel the government to implement agreements reached between them.
At the signing of the agreements that made the unions soften their grounds, the Minister of Labour, Mr Simon Lalong, said the government was appreciative of the unions’ considerations.
While signing the agreement, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, warned that the unions would embark on a strike if the government reneged on its commitments.
Aligning with his counterpart, the President of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Festus Osifo, expresses hope that the government will be committed to the implementation of their agreements.
In the MOU, the government agreed to implement the N35,000 salary award to federal civil servants from September, pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.
Consequently, it was agreed that a minimum wage committee would be inaugurated within one month from the date of the agreement, while the collection of value-added tax on diesel would be suspended for six months beginning in October.
The government has also accepted to vote N100 billion for the provision of high high-capacity buses for mass transit, while initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kick start an auto gas conversion programme will be provided, with effect from November 2023.
Tax incentive measures
It says government plans to implement various tax incentive measures for private sector and the general public.
On the leadership crises rocking the National Union Road Transport Workers and the purported proscription of Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria, the government has committed to handling Labour matters in line with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts, pointing out that resolution of the ongoing impasse is expected by or before October 13.
The meeting agreed that the outstanding salaries and wages of tertiary education workers in federal-owned educational institutions be referred to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.
Similarly, the government made commitment to pay N25,000 per month for three months, starting from next month, to 15 million households, including to ‘vulnerable pensioners,’ and that it will increase its initiatives on subsidised distribution of fertilisers to farmers.
Additionally, the government will provide funds as announced by the President in his independence day broadcast, for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises.
It was also agreed that a joint visitation will be made to the refineries to ascertain the rehabilitation status, and that all parties are committed to henceforth abide by the dictates of social dialogue in future engagements.
The Federal Government and the Organised Labour had resumed meeting at the Chief of Staff Conference Room of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting on Monday October 2, was to brief the representatives of the government on the resolutions reached by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
Labour had on Sunday after meeting with the federal government agreed to relay FG’s offer to their various organs for consideration to possibly call off the proposed nationwide strike slated for October 3.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Julian Osamoto