Fuel Subsidy: NLC Absent As FG, TUC Agree On Wage Increase For Workers To Cushion Effect

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was absent on Sunday at the reconvened meeting between the federal government and representatives of the organised labour centre at the State House, Abuja.

The first meeting held last Wednesday to discuss the contentious issue of the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy was attended by representatives of both the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) but at the reconvened meeting on Sunday, representatives of the NLC failed to turn up.

At the resumed meeting, the Trade Union Congress presented a list of demands to government, with minimum wage review topping the list.

Speaking with newsmen after the meeting held at the Conference room of the Chief of Staff’s office which lasted for about two and a half hours, both sides disclosed that negotiations would continue from Tuesday when the federal government’s side, which said it would be taking the demands to President Bola Tinubu, is expected to come with answers to labour’s myriad of demands.

Apart from the demand for a review of the minimum wage, the TUC also demanded a tax break for Nigerian workers even as it said it would leave the remaining items on the list undisclosed until the government representatives must have relayed the list to the President and come back with positions.

Spokesman of the government’s side, Dele Alake, expressed satisfaction at the proceedings, giving a hint that the demands by the TUC were not impracticable, but noted also that the President must be allowed time to consider them.

According to him, government will look into the issue of minimum wage, since the removal of subsidy has the immediate consequence of reducing the purchasing power of the people.

He added that government would be putting a tripartite committee together to study all dynamics relating to the subsidy.

However, President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, while speaking to newsmen, accused the federal government of foul play, insincerity and insensitivity on the subsidy matter. NLC insisted that the federal government lied in its declaration that there was no appropriation for subsidy beyond May 2023.

The NLC also stated that all its branches and affiliates across the country were united in the struggle to reverse the unilateral increase in pump price of petrol.


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