The Nigerian Federal Government and organized labor, represented by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), have reached an agreement on a deadline of eight weeks to resolve all contentious issues and implement the resolutions arising from the labor demands regarding the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the government.
After President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy upon his inauguration on May 29, the organized labor threatened to go on strike, citing the government’s lack of measures to mitigate the impact of the subsidy removal. In response, the federal government promptly initiated a meeting with labor representatives to discuss potential palliatives, and both parties agreed to reconvene on June 19.
During the meeting held on Monday, the federal government, NLC, and TUC agreed that all raised issues and demands should be addressed within a period of eight weeks. To ensure effective coordination, they established a Presidential Steering Committee responsible for overseeing various technical sub-committees assigned to specific matters.
Following the meeting, TUC President Festus Osifo, accompanied by NLC President Joe Ajaero, informed reporters that the purpose of the meeting was to develop a framework for delivering the labor demands and the government’s proposed solutions. The parties agreed to continue working on finalizing the framework starting from that night.
The agreed timeframe of eight weeks is aimed at ensuring prompt action and avoiding indefinite delays. The framework, which includes action items outlined in the previous meeting’s communique, will be reviewed, and technical sub-committees will be incorporated into the Presidential Steering Committee. The terms of reference for these committees, with specified timelines, will be established by the following day.
A subsequent meeting is scheduled for the next Monday to assess progress and discuss further developments. The parties involved recognize the need for short-term, medium-term, and long-term measures to address the subsidy removal issue effectively.
The meeting was attended by the NLC delegation led by Joe Ajaero, the TUC delegation led by Festus Osifo, the Chief of Staff to the President, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, the Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, Zachaeus Adedeji, the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijen, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Kachallom Daju, as well as other representatives from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).