NLC meets govs over fuel subsidy palliatives


Weeks after the removal of fuel subsidy by  President Bola Tinubu, some state chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress have commenced moves to negotiate with respective state governments on ways to cushion the effects of the removal of subsidy,

This is as the organised labour at the national level vowed to ensure strict compliance with agreements reached in states.

The PUNCH reports that during his inaugural speech at Eagle Square in Abuja, Tinubu said the era of subsidy on fuel had ended, adding that with the 2023 budget making no provision for fuel subsidy, further payment was no longer justifiable.

The organised labour has been engaging the Federal Government to provide palliative measures to cushion the effect of subsidy removal on workers.

Representatives of the Federal Government and organised labour had since met with a committee set up to attend to the demands set by the NLC and TUC.

Checks by our correspondent on Monday revealed that the committee has five weeks left to come up with its report.

Findings by our correspondent also revealed that some state chapters of the NLC are planning to meet with state governors over plans to cushion the effects of the subsidy.

Already some state governments, such as Kwara, Edo, Taraba among others, have announced special interventions for citizens but no standard interventions have been announced for workers.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, the state Chairman of the NLC in Abia State, Pascal Iheme, confirmed to our correspondent that the state NLC would meet with Governor Alex Otti on Wednesday.

“We are having a meeting with the state governor on Wednesday. The issue of subsidy will be discussed and also the implementation of the minimum wage. By Wednesday we will meet and you will get the updates.”

In Ekiti State, our correspondent learnt that the state NLC had written to Governor Biodun Oyebanji over the matter.

The Ekiti State Chairman of the NLC, Olatunde Kolapo, added that, “We were to meet last week but we were not around. We will meet with him (the governor) this week and our official stand will be made public, hopefully before the end of the week.

“It is also important to know that we will need the template from the national body so that it will help in our negotiations with the state government.”

In Taraba State, the Secretary of the NLC, Buba Wadumayi, told our correspondent that the state NLC was looking forward to an engagement with the state government.

“Presently, we haven’t made any engagement with the new governor. But before the former governor left office we had a series of engagements with him, most especially on the issue of minimum wage.

“We want to meet with the new governor too. He has given us an appointment for a courtesy call before now but due to bottlenecks and workloads, we have not been able to meet him.

“From all indications, we can see that he is ready and willing to work. He has started working to ensure that outstanding pensions owed by the past government are paid so we are looking forward to meeting with him,” Wadumayi said.

In Benue State, the state NLC chairman, Terungwa Igbe, told our correspondent that the labour union would meet with the state government after negotiations between the national secretariat of the NLC and the Federal Government.

He said, “It is what they discuss that we will adopt and present before our state government. So we will wait for the end of negotiations before we meet.”

Meanwhile the national organised labour has vowed to ensure that state governments comply with negotiations reached between the Federal Government and the organised labour.

The national Vice President of the Trade Union Congress, Tommy Etim, told our correspondent that, “We will ensure that we monitor and enforce compliance by state governors.”

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