The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and the leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress NLC, were beyond midnight still engaged in negotiations and drawing out plans for the resolution of the imminent strike action planned by the organised labour. By 2:53 AM today, both parties reached a beneficial agreement, and the proposed strike has been suspended after the organised labour was convinced of the necessity of the Deregulation of the downstream sector and the Federal Government planned to roll out more palliatives for labour. Details regarding these palliatives will be made known within two weeks. Additionally, the hike in electricity tariffs has been suspended by for two weeks by the Federal Government, with a joint Committee headed by Festus Keyamo to examine the justification for the new tariff policy.
The negotiations with the organised labour was a lengthy one that necessitated the conveying of a special temporary secretariat and lasted all night until early hours of today.
At about 11pm, the Federal Government team started making last-ditch efforts to forestall the strike that was planned to commence by 0:00 AM today.
By 12.34am Festus Keyamo through his social media handles, informed that some progress have been made. He said concrete proposals had been put on the table by both sides and that they were being worked on by the temporary Secretariat. “Gradually moving towards a point of convergence. Let’s hope!” He said.
Agreement was finally reached around 2am as the Organised Labour agreed with the need for the deregulation policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and Government assured of measures put in place for palliatives to workers, in addition to the various ones already in operation.
Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, said: “NLC and TUC demonstrated absolute faith in our country and showed understanding on inevitability of PMS deregulation and jointly charted way forward to secure local refining sufficiency through greater stakeholder inclusiveness and transparency. We will follow through diligently.”
“Being a former Union leader, I understand the difficulties of Labour leadership when faced with choices between stark realities and legitimate follower expectations. The leadership chose the pursuit of common good and posterity will vindicate us all for standing with our country.” He added.
“We reached accord to suspend the planned strike action, great responsibility for both Government and Labour, all serving the common good, beneficial challenge for NNPC, we will follow through diligently.” He concluded.