Breaking: NLC,TUC suspends nationwide protests

The Nigerian Labour Congress NLC and Trade Union Congress TUC,have suspended their planned nationwide protest scheduled to hold Monday September 28th.

The labour unions, NLC and TUC, had scheduled September 28 for a nationwide rally to protest increases in the prices of petrol and electricity.

The suspension of the protest was announced by the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, and contained in a communiqué signed by all the parties involved in the meeting which ended in the early hours of Monday.

The minister of state, labour, and employment, Festus Keyamo also revealed the details of the agreements reached via a tweet summarising them which reads:

“FG & LABOUR reach agreement at 2:53am. Deregulation to stay as Govt rolls out palliatives for labour (details in 2 weeks); Electricity tariffs suspended by Govt for 2 weeks with a joint Committee headed by @fkeyamo to examine the justification for the new policy. Strike suspended”

He disclosed that the total deregulation in the downstream sector remains, adding that palliatives would be offered to Nigerian workers to cushion the effects of burden. Keyamo said he will head the committee that will be set up to examine the justifications for the electricity tariff hike. The minister also released copies of a signed communiqué which contained the full details of the agreement reached with the unions.

Mr Ngige said the unions decided to suspend the strike after fruitful deliberation.

“Consequently, the NLC and TUC agreed to suspend the planned industrial action,” he said.

Speaking on the electricity tariff, Mr 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 field.

According to him, the technical committee 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.

Mr Ngige said the committee would also look at the different DISCOs and their electricity tariff ‘vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.’

Mr Ngige said all parties agreed on the need for expanding the local refining capacity of the nation to reduce the overdependence on the importation of petroleum products

“NNPC to expedite the rehabilitation of the nation’s four refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna and to achieve 50 per cent completion for Port Harcourt by December 2021, while timelines and delivery for Warri and Kaduna will be established by the inclusive Steering Committee,” he said.

Speaking after the meeting, the president of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, and that of the TUC, Quadri Olaleye, confirmed the content of the communique.

Mr Wabba also said the technical committee will work out a lasting solution in addressing the electricity tariff including the issue of metering.

“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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