Subsidy removal: Tinubu moves to placate labour with wage award after protest - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Subsidy removal: Tinubu moves to placate labour with wage award after protest

---Promises to rejig Steering Committee

---President to roll out CNG vehicles

...We"ll take decision on suspension of strike at NEC meeting today - Ajaero

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday evening met with the leadership of the two labour centres, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC of Nigeria, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he gave them firm promise on some of their demands.

The organised labour had embarked on a strike to protest the removal of fuel subsidy with its attendant hardship on the people in the country.

In a nationwide broadcast on Monday on the heels of the proposed protest by the NLC, President Tinubu outlined some palliatives which the organised labour described as not far reaching enough.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the brief meeting with the President, the President of the NLC, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said they deepened their discussions with the President on palliatives for workers.

He disclosed that the President explained certain things hitherto not in his nationwide broadcast to them at the meeting.

On whether the President urged them to call off the strike, Ajaero said no one person could do that disclosing however that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC would meet today (Thursday) to decide on the next line.of action.

He said, "We met with him (President Tinubu). The issues we discussed are the same issues that led to the protest today.

"He has expressed his position, made some commitments, which were taken side-by-side with what the Senate said, and we're taking it back to the office with our colleagues to review it and release a document on our next line of action."
Asked whether the commitments were different from the one he did during the broadcast, Ajaero, flanked by the TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo said, "We have gone deeper into them. The broadcast has broader issues, but there are one or two things that need immediate attention."

Further asked whether the organised labour will call off the peaceful protest, he said, "No one person can call it off. That's why I said we'll have to go back to the office. So that they will look at it, the Exco looks at it before they come up. And by tomorrow, the NLC will equally have their NEC meeting, to look at the bigger picture."

Asked whether the President told them to suspend the protest, he simply said, "The President is a pro-democracy activist. So he understands protests."

It was reliably that the President promised to reconstitute the Presidential Steering Committee on Palliatives, an immediate wage award to workers and the distribution of CNG vehicles as another way of cushioning the hardship workers are facing.

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