Subsidy: NLC shuns meeting with FG

The Nigeria Labour Congress on Sunday shunned a meeting called by the Federal Government to discuss the subsidy removal and the attendant hike in fuel pump prices across the country.

The union insisted that it would not hold any dialogue with the government representatives unless a legitimate team was set up.

However, the Trade Union Congress officials attended the meeting which was a follow-up to the talks held with the NLC at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last week, which ended in a deadlock.

This is as the electricity workers vowed to join the strike and plunge the nation into a blackout in protest against the removal of fuel subsidy by the Bola Tinubu administration.

The National Treasurer of the NLC, Hakeem Ambali, confirmed the decision of the union to boycott the meeting which was a follow-up to the Wednesday meeting on the removal of subsidy.

During the meeting attended by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited, Mele Kyari, Dele Alake, and others, the NLC had insisted on the reversal of the fuel pump price pegged at between N488 and N557.

Following the breakdown of talks, the congress resolved at its NEC meeting held on Friday to embark on a nationwide strike.

Ambali explained that like the TUC, the NLC was invited for a follow-up meeting at the State House following the earlier meeting which ended in a deadlock.

He hinted that the union did not attend the talks because the government representatives had no official mandate or authority to negotiate for the President.

“It was an adjourned meeting, a follow-up to the last one. However, the NLC insisted that we would be ready to negotiate with a team that has legitimacy and official mandate to negotiate for President Tinubu,” he stated.

Shedding light on the NLC’s boycott of the session, the National President of the congress, Joe Ajaero, contended that the meeting was of no consequence to the congress.

Speaking in an interview on Arise television on Sunday, Ajaero said, “Of what use is today’s meeting? As of Tuesday night, I had a meeting with the president of the TUC and some other government officials. I told the NNPCL MD that any move to increase the pump price would be taken as war.

“They went ahead to announce. We told them to return to the status quo so that negotiations will continue but up till now, they have not done that. So what are we going to the meeting to do?

“We are not making any progress and this is because we are still at the same point. The issue of alternatives and subsidies are things we have discussed over time and our position has been made public but the government appears not to be interested in our position.”

Speaking on media reports about factions of the NLC opposed to the strike, Ajaero said, “On Friday, all affiliates of the NLC agreed that we should take the next line of action. We don’t have northern NLC or southern NLC. If any media house has proof, let them bring it forward.”

In a notice issued on Sunday, the National Union of Electricity Employees also threatened to join the strike action.

Already, the NUEE has directed its members to withdraw their services nationwide over the sudden removal of the fuel subsidy by the FG.

The NUEE in a notice signed by its acting General Secretary, Dominic Igwebike, urged its members to comply with the directive and stop work from the early hours of Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *