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Following a successful meeting with the Federal Government over the removal of fuel subsidy, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, on Monday night, suspended their planned nationwide strike.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to the President, while disclosing this on Monday night after a meeting between the federal government and the unions at Aso Villa, said the TUC and the NLC would establish a joint committee to review the proposal for any wage increase or award and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.

“The Federal Government, the TUC and the NLC would review the World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose inclusion of low-income earners in the programme”, a communique signed after the meeting reads in part.

Earlier NLC and TUC had threatened to embark on nationwide strike on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, had earlier reported that the National Industrial Court in Abuja restrained the Labour unions on embarking on strike.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited on Wednesday last week announced a new price template for fuel nationwide.

The development saw fuel pump price increase from N197 per litre to over N500.

Gbajabiamila added that the meeting also agreed to review issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector and propose solutions for implementation.

“The Labour centres and the Federal Government to review and establish the framework for completion of the rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries.

“The Federal Government provides a framework for the maintenance of roads and expansion of rail networks across the country.

“All other demands submitted by the TUC to the Federal Government will be assessed by the joint committee,” he said.

He stressed that the NLC agreed to suspend the notice of strike forthwith to enable further consultations as well as continue the ongoing engagements and secure closure on the resolutions.

The resolution was endorsed by the Presidents and Secretaries of the NLC and TUC, and Ms Kachollom Daju, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour Employment.

Subsidy Removal: Industrial court restrains NLC, TUC from embarking on strike

The National Industrial Court on Monday granted an interim order restraining the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress from embarking on strike on Wednesday.

Justice O. Y. Anuwe issued the order and adjourned further hearing till 19 June.

The Informant247 had reported that the Nigeria Labour Congess (NLC) declared a nationwide strike starting from next Wednesday.

The Labour unions’ decision followed the fuel shortages across the country occasioned by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s inaugural speech in which he declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.

Joe Ajaero, the NLC President while announcing this after an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja, said the government, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had up until Wednesday next week to revert to the old price petrol, adding that failure of the Federal Government to meet the ultimatum would attract an indefinite protest across the country.

President Tinubu had last week Monday during his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square in Abuja, declared that the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended, saying with the 2023 budget making no provision for fuel subsidy, further payment was no longer justifiable.

“The fuel subsidy is gone,” Tinubu said. His government would instead channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy, he added.

Meanwhile, the president’s pronouncement has led to an instant resurgence of fuel queues across the country with Nigerians foraging for the premium product.

Though Tinubu’s decision received backing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and House of Representatives, it has since been resisted by the NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).

Accoring to the organised labour, the President cannot unilaterally take a decision on subsidy removal.

TUC President, Festus Osifo, also argued that there was a reason the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari pushed the “sensitive issue” to the new government.

It could be recalled that on Wednesday, an hours-long meeting between the Federal Government and the NLC on the matter ended without a consensus.

The Federal Government representatives included Dele Alake, the spokesperson for President Bola Tinubu; and the Group CEO of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; and former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

On the organised labour’s side, the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero; and the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Festus Osifo, were present.

The NLC demanded that the Federal Government return to status quo by reversing the price of fuel before resuming negotiations with labour while it insisted that the Federal Government did not enter into any conversation even on palliative measures for Nigerians before the decision

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