‘Why Labour issued 14-day nationwide strike notice to FG’

The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, on Thursday issued a 14-day nationwide strike notice to the Federal Government over the non-implementation of the 16-point agreement reached on October 2, 2023.

There was a Memorandum of Understanding between the leaders of the Organised Labour and the FG, for the latter to address the suffering of the masses emanating from fuel subsidy removal and find a lasting solution to the devaluation of the naira, among others.

While issuing the notice, both NLC and TUC in their statement regretted the actions of the government so far, saying, “NLC and TUC, in a statement, lamented that “it is regrettable that we are compelled to resort to such measures, but the persistent neglect of the welfare of citizens and Nigerian workers and the massive hardship leave us with no choice.”

They further stated, “Constrained by this development and recognising the urgency of the situation and the imperative of ensuring the protection and defence of the rights and dignity of Nigerian workers and citizens, the NLC and TUC hereby issue a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government to honour their part of the understanding within 14 days from tomorrow, February 9, 2024.”

Below are the agreements reached by the government and Organised Labour in October 2023 that :

The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.

A minimum wage committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of this agreement.

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The Federal Government suspends collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for six months beginning from October, 2023.

The Federal Government accepts to vote N100 billion for the provision of high capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria. Provisions are also being made for initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kick start an auto gas conversion programme, whilst work is ongoing on state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide. The rollout aims to commence by November with pilots across 10 campuses nationwide.

The Federal Government plans to implement various tax incentive measures for private sector and the general public.

On the leadership crises rocking the NURTW and the purported proscription of RTEAN, the Federal Government commits to handling Labour matters in line with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts. A resolution of the ongoing impasse is expected by or before October 13.

The issue of outstanding Salaries and Wages of Tertiary Education workers in Federal-owned educational institutions is being referred to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.

The Federal Government commits to pay N25,000 per month for three months starting from October, 2023 to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.

The Federal Government will increase its initiatives on subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country.

The Federal Government should urge State Government through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum to implement wage award for their workers. Similar consideration should also be given to local government and private sector workers.

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