Labour suspends strike as FG steps down new electricity tariff

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The proposed general strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress will not hold afterall as representatives of the Federal Government and Organised Labour reached an agreement at 2.53am on Monday morning.

The development was tweeted by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN).

He said: “FG & LABOUR reach agreement at 2:53am. Deregulation to stay as Govt rolls out palliatives for labour (details in 2 weeks); Electricity tariffs suspended by Govt for 2 weeks with a joint Committee headed by @fkeyamo to examine the justification for the new policy. Strike suspended.”

The agreement was signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; his colleagues in Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Power (State), Jedi Agba; Information, Lai Mohammed; and Keyamo as well as the Presidents of NLC and TUC, Ayuba Wabba and Quadri Olalaye respectively; and some other labour leaders.

In the agreement also posted by Keyamo, government and labour agreed that the new electricity tariffs would be suspended for two weeks to enable both sides to work out an acceptable template on the vexatious issue.

A technical committee was set up to look into the issue while government accepted to include Labour in the review of the electricity tariffs and fuel prices.

They agreed that deregulation should be sustained in order to cut down waste and increase local production.

Consequently, government and labour are to work together on speedily fixing the four state-run refineries.

All parties also agreed on increasing.local production,reducing  dependence on imported petroleum products and increasing opportunities for Nigerians.

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The two refineries in Port Harcourt would be fixed up to 50 per cent by December 2021 while timelines for the refineries in Kaduna and Warri would be released soon.

Government is to roll out a specified amount in two weeks to be distributed to 240,000 Nigerians under the auspices of labour.

The amount will be separate from the Economic Sustainability Programme Intervention Fund.

Government will also remove tax on minimum wage to cushion the impact of deregulation on the most vulnerable in the society.

Government is also to immediately provide 133 CNG/LPG powered buses to labour fir public transportation for workers while more would be rolled out to states and local governments before December 2021.

Government is to also allocate 10 per cent of its housing initiative to Nigerian workers under the auspices of NLC and TUC.

“Consequently, the NLC and TUC agree to suspend the planned industrial action,” it added.