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FG and Organized Labour Set to Reconvene Today Over Petrol Subsidy

Representatives of the Federal Government, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) are set to meet today.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the aim is to make significant progress in meeting the eight-week deadline for concluding talks on palliatives related to the removal of petrol subsidy.

During their previous meeting last week, the government and organized labour established a Presidential Steering Committee responsible for coordinating technical sub-committees on various key issues.

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, led the government’s team during the meeting. They reached an agreement that all concerns and demands raised by labour should be addressed within the stipulated eight-week timeframe.

Following the meeting, TUC President Festus Osifo, accompanied by NLC counterpart Joe Ajaero, addressed journalists and announced that the parties would reconvene today to review the framework put forth. Negotiations will continue with five sub-committees focusing on Cash Transfers, the Social Investment Programme (SIP), the Cost of Governance, Energy, Mass Transit, and Housing.

According to sources, as this is the inaugural meeting of the steering committee, the session will officially approve the composition of the five sub-committees, enabling them to commence their work promptly.

An insider revealed that the purpose of this agenda-setting meeting is to establish a standardised framework for all sub-committees, which will then have the authority to modify and expand their templates as necessary. For example, the cash transfer committee is expected to develop a framework for increasing government assistance to vulnerable Nigerians.

The SIP committee will address issues pertaining to social protection, pensions, housing, affordable education, improved healthcare access, and other interventions for Nigerians. The energy committee will focus on alternative energy sources and reducing electricity tariffs.

When asked about the feasibility of completing the committees’ tasks within the eight-week timeframe, the source admitted it might be challenging but added, “I anticipate that the committees themselves will request an extension to ensure the delivery of benefits to Nigerians. Ultimately, we aim to break the cycle of exploitation and underdevelopment inflicted on Nigerians by the ruling elites.”

The source further revealed that the NLC is prioritising a revival of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Nigeria as an alternative to oil, aiming to prevent the ruling elites from using Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to oppress Nigerians.

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