Why organised Labour suspended planned nationwide strike

By our reporter| Following last minute efforts by the federal government, Governors, and the leadership of the national assembly, the Nigeria Labour Congress early on Monday morning suspended its planned nationwide strike scheduled for today following a last minute meeting with the federal government.

According to a communique read by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, after a technical session which began late on Sunday, the decision to suspend the strike followed an agreement reached between both parties to avert a nationwide strike which would have grounded economic activities in the country.

Organized labour, however, stressed that the strike was suspended not called off and vowed to call out its members if the government reneged on the committment made in the next two weeks.

As part of the agreement, the Federal Government will suspend the electricity price tariff hike and has set up a committee to look into what the labour minister described as conflicting field reports justifying the hike in electricity tariff.

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The suspension of the electricity tariff hike will be for a two-week period during which the committee will conduct its investigations and submit its report.

The committee is to be headed by Dr Ngige, but he will be represented by the Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo.

Based on the agreement, the new price of fuel will, however, remain in place but the government promised to do more to improve local refining capacity, rehabilitate Nigeria’s refineries and pursue the CNG alternative aggressively by for instance providing CNG mass transit buses across the country.

Dr Ngige decried the stifled growth in Nigeria’s downstream sector and the dire circumstances faced by government which he claims is the justification for fuel subsidy removal.

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NLC President, Ayuba Wabba who confirmed that the strike has been suspended and looking forward to the palliatives promised by government, welcomed the dialogue with government and the resolutions reached.

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