What FG and Organized Labour Decided Upon During Monday’s Meeting Over Fuel Subsidy

The Federal Government (FG) announced on Monday that it has taken a significant step in addressing the demands put forth by the organised labour.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that a steering committee has been established to develop a feasible framework within the next eight weeks, with an expected completion date of August 14.

The disclosure came from Dele Alake, the Special Adviser to the President on Communications, Special Duties, and Strategy, alongside Joe Ajaero, President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, and Festus Osifo, President of the Trade Union of Nigeria.

This followed a meeting at the State House in Abuja, of which they provided separate briefings to journalists.

Monday’s meeting marked the fourth in a series of negotiations between the FG and organised labour since the discontinuation of petroleum subsidy, which was announced by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023.

During the previous meeting on June 5, 2023, both the FG and the labour centres agreed to continue discussions and work towards resolving the issues at hand.

According to the resolution, “The labour centres and the Federal Government will convene on June 19, 2023, to finalise an implementation framework.”

Alake, in his remarks, highlighted that Monday’s engagement focused on the creation of a steering committee, which would receive reports from various subcommittees regarding the different aspects of the demands presented by the organised labour.

“We reconvened today, reviewed the demands, and categorised them into three groups: immediate, low-hanging fruit, and medium to long term. We have made progress today, and further meetings will be held to address the remaining issues. The groups established during today’s meeting will continue their work in collaboration to achieve a final resolution on these demands,” explained Alake.

He further emphasised that a steering committee had been formed as a coordinating body to facilitate efficient communication and cooperation between the government and the labour members. This committee will play a vital role in ensuring the successful resolution of all the demands, often referred to as interventions.

Osifo, President of the Trade Union of Nigeria, stated that while the organised labour would carefully evaluate the framework presented by the FG, they are bound by an eight-week timeline to provide their report.

“We are currently examining the proposed framework put forward by the government and offering our input. We will continue our work from tonight to finalise the framework. All efforts must be concluded within eight weeks, and all deliverables must be met within that timeframe. We have reviewed the framework submitted to us, made our suggestions, and will continue to collaborate to achieve the desired outcome,” said Osifo.

Osifo also clarified that the Presidential Steering Committee would oversee various technical subcommittees responsible for examining crucial aspects such as the implementation of mass transit vehicles running on Compressed Natural Gas, as well as the review of the minimum wage.

Ajaero, President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, added, “This meeting aims to breathe life into the agreements reached previously. We have established committees in key areas to commence work and ensure that we conclude within the next eight weeks.”

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