Subsidy: NLC Resumes Talks With FG, Threatens Strike

by Amos Kalu

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if the Federal Government fails to meet its demand for the fuel subsidy removal or engage in a meaningful dialogue with the leadership of the labor unions.

New Telegraph reports that the organized labour union which comprises the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) will on Monday, June 19, meet with President Bola Tinubu-led government to resume talks with the FG to find a resolution to the ongoing subsidy debate.

The union stated that the high cost of fuel was inflicting unbearable hardship on Nigerians, adding that the government must act fast with respect to providing palliatives, as the NLC said it was expecting an increase in the minimum wage from N30,000 to N100,000.

The Federal Government and labour unions met on June 5, 2023, with a resolution to reconvene on June 19 to agree on the implementation framework of the resolutions reached.

In the recent meeting between the NLC and the federal government, both parties agreed to resume negotiations to find common ground on the issue. But the NLC reiterated its demand for transparency and accountability in the management of funds saved from subsidy removal, as well as measures to cushion the effects of the policy on Nigerian workers and citizens.

The NLC has made it clear that if the government fails to address its concerns and engage in meaningful dialogue, it will have no choice but to call for a nationwide strike.

The strike, if implemented, could disrupt economic activities and put pressure on the government to reconsider its position on fuel subsidy removal.

It is important to note that the federal government has been grappling with economic challenges, including dwindling revenue and increasing debt burden.

The removal of fuel subsidies has been one of the measures proposed to address these challenges and promote economic stability in the long run.

However, following the June 5 meeting, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, who led the government side agreed on a seven-point resolution to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, on Nigerians.

“The Federal Government, the TUC, and the NLC to 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 to review the World Bank Financed Cash transfer scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the program.

“The Federal Government, the TUC, and the NLC to revive the CNG conversion program earlier agreed with Labour centers in 2021 and work out detailed implementation and timing,” Gbajabiamila had stated.

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