FG and the TUC were able to find a middle ground on the issue of subsidy removal.
The Federal Government has shown a favourable disposition towards the list of demands presented to it by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as preconditions for the removal of fuel subsidy to hold.
This was the outcome of a three-hour-long meeting between representatives of the Federal Government and members of the TUC at the Aso Rock Villa on Sunday, June 4, 2023.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the spokesperson for the Federal government, Dele Alake, said the government will consider the list with regard to its practicability.
He, however, confirmed that the government has, as demanded by the trade union, agreed to an immediate upward review of the national minimum and a committee to midwife that process will be set up forthwith.
The government is also considering tax holidays for workers among other measures that will be targeted at mitigating the severity of the fuel subsidy removal on the Nigerian workers, Alake noted.
He added that President Bola Tinubu will constitute a tripartite committee that will comprise states and organised labour as well as the private sector to study the dynamics of the minimum wage increment to reach an amicable conclusion.
No disagreement between NLC and FG
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) refused to show up for the meeting after threatening to embark on strike if the Federal government doesn’t reverse its decision to remove the subsidy before Wednesday, June 7, 2023.
Commenting on NLC being absent from the Sunday meeting, Alake said there’s no disagreement with the labour union over their demands which include a review of the minimum wage or a return to the status quo, adding that the FG representatives will meet with the President to analyse the modalities.
He stressed that the absence of NLC doesn’t amount to an alienation of the group from the consultations as the Federal Government is committed to bringing them to the negotiation table on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 24 hours before the scheduled strike by the union.
On his part, TUC President, Festus Osifo, said the union remains hopeful that the federal government will make good on its promise to consider their demands, the top of which is a review of the current minimum wage.