– The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Government will return to negotiating table today, May 25
– The talks will centre on the recent N145 fuel pump price increase by the government
– NLC had suspended its nationwide strike in order to begin the negotiation
The NLC and the federal government will commence negotiation today, May 25, after the stalemate in the talks between both parties occasioned by the nationwide strike embarked upon by labour unions.
Senior NLC officials led by its president, Comrade Ayubba Wabba during the dtrike
In a statement released to the media on Tuesday, May 24, the director in charge of press at the ministry of labour and employment, Samuel Olowookere, said the meeting would hold by 2pm at the conference hall of Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The NLC had called off the indefinite strike it embarked upon last week after the intervention of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Bola Tinubu at the meeting with NLC
The government had through the minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige, vowed not to engage the NLC in any talks until the strike is called off.
Talks with the NLC had been delayed due to the fact that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) had served a week-old strike notice on the government.
PENGASSAN planned stirke was however suspended following the intervention of Ngige and his counterpart in the ministry of petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.
According to Olowookere’s statement, Kachikwu briefed the meeting on the re-occurring issue of the Joint Venture Cash Call, the arrears of which had not been paid to the Joint Venture Partners which made the oil firms to issue a threat to lay off workers as a result of shortage of cash recently.
The minister told the gathering that the petroleum ministry was “restructuring the operational modalities of the Joint Venture Cash Call especially in view of the low oil prices.”
He assured the union, the JVCC partners and other stakeholders in the industry of some positive results during the next meeting scheduled for June.
His words: “We all recall that this committee was headed by the late Hon. Min. of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. James Ocholi, but in view of the importance and the urgency of the committee, I will assume its full leadership in June to accelerate and bring its assignment to fruitful completion, part of which is to pass some oil-labour regulations into laws for the Petroleum Industry Bill.”
In a related development, the decision of the federal government to remove petroleum subsidies thereby increasing the pump price of a litre of fuel has not gone down well with Professor Tam David-West.
A vocal supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, the former minister of petroleum and energy berated the government for increasing the price, saying it is nonsense and unjustifiable.