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Labour Calls off Strike, Threatens Resumption after 30 Days

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have called off a nationwide strike planned to commence on Tuesday, October 3. The suspension of the strike is for a 30-day period which according to the labour unions, is to enable the government to implement the agreement that it reached with the unions. According to the agreement reached and contained in a memorandum of understanding between the parties, the government is expected to implement the following:

  • Payment of wage award of N35,000 only monthly for all Federal Government workers pending when a new minimum wage is signed into law;
  • Fast-tracking the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties;  
  • Provision of tax incentive measures for private enterprises;
  • VAT waiver on diesel for the next 6 months from October 2023;   
  • Commencement payment of N25,000 per month to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners, for a three-month period from October-December 2023.

Some of these agreements were predicated on measures announced by President Tinubu in a broadcast to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary, to address the hardship occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy. The Federal Government had convened an emergency meeting on October 1 to engage the labour unions, to avert the planned strike.

Persons present at the meeting include NLC President, Joe Ajaero, TUC President, Festus Osifo, Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Hon. Nkeiru Onyejeocha, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, and several others.

The renewed confrontation between labour unions and the Federal Government is caused mainly by the current volatile economic situation in the country, arising from President Tinubu’s inauguration day removal of subsidy on petrol and subsequent flotation of the naira exchange rates. These two economic actions of government have resulted in severe hardship for citizens, leading to disenchantment in the land.