The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have suspended their planned nationwide protest scheduled to hold today.
The labour unions had planned the strike to protest increases in the prices of petrol and electricity.
The strike was suspended after a late-night meeting with a federal government team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
They also resolved to review their decision in another two weeks to see if their agreement with the government is being complied with.
The suspension of the protest was announced by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, and contained in a communiqué signed by all the parties involved in the meeting which ended in the early hours of today.
Ngige said the unions decided to suspend the strike after fruitful deliberation.
Speaking on the electricity tariff, Ngige said the parties agreed to set up a Technical Committee comprising Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government as well as the NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of two weeks from today.
He said the responsibility of the committee is to examine the justifications for the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff as a result of conflicting information from the in the public domain.
He said the committee’s membership is as follows: Chairman: Minister of State Labour & Employment – Festus Keyamo; Minister of State Power – Godwin Jedy-Agba; Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission – James Momoh; SA to Mr President on Infrastructure – Ahmad Zakari; NLC member – Onoho’Omhen Ebhohimhen; NLC member – Joe Ajaero; TUC member – Chris Okonkwo and a representative of electricity distribution companies, DISCOS.
Ngige said the committee would also look at the different DISCOs and their electricity tariff ‘vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.’
Ngige said all parties also agreed on the need for expanding the local refining capacity of the nation to reduce the overdependence on the importation of petroleum products while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will expedite the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries.
He said the government will facilitate the removal of tax on minimum wage as a way of cushioning the impacts of the policy on the lowest earners.
He said the federal government will give the labour unions 133 CNG/LPG-driven mass transit buses immediately and “provide to the major cities across the country on a scale-up basis thereafter to all States and Local Governments before December 2021.”
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, also confirmed the agreement.
“Other issues are very clear, palliatives that needed to be extended our members and Nigerians that will cushion the effect of these policies. So it is, therefore, the decision of organised labour as represented here to suspend the action and we are going to convey our CWC to present it to them,” he said.
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