• Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

FG Moves To Avert Workers Strike

Federal Government says it is working hard to address the concerns of the nation’s organised labour, in order to avert the impending strike action planned by the NLC.

Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Energy, Tolu Verheijin disclosed this in an interview with State House Correspondents at the end of the reconvened meeting between government and organised labour.

The meeting, which took place at the Presidential villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, was a continuation of an earlier one, which was to look into ways of cushioning the effects of the removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit.

She said: “It was quite productive today. It involves labor and some parts of government, it’s a steering committee. It’s a wide group of people, a wide group of stakeholders representing the interests of Nigerians. And we’ve agreed to continue to make progress; it was a very productive meeting. The focus was really around how we fast-track a lot of the interventions that will bring relief, particularly around CNG, mass transportation, cleaner energy, transportation, and reduce the impact of the cost of transportation, the increased cost of transportation.

Palliatives

On the delays by government in rolling out palliatives that will cushion the effects of the removal of subsidy, Ms Verheijin said: “We have to get it right.”

She continued: “It’s important that we do this well, and we keep our promises. So it’s important that whatever is announced actually gets done because we don’t want to make big announcements that will continue to lose people’s trust. It’s important that we build trust, and that most of the announcements and the plans that we roll out are credible and impactful.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is working assiduously to address all of these issues, and as quickly as he can. He’s very empathetic, he is concerned about it, as you’ve seen all of us working round the clock here to make sure that we are able to announce these measures as quickly as possible. It’s a whole package of issues that we’re rolling out as quickly as possible.”

President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Joe Ajaero, said Wednesday’s meeting was a continuation of an earlier one convened based on the increase in the pump price of petrol.

“Well the outcome is very brief. We met based on the N520 increase and the committee that was set based on that and we agreed to work to realize the objectives that were set during that moment,” he said.
“I wouldn’t know, we are going ahead with the protest because we have to be emphatic on what we put in our communique, to say we’re commencing protests from the 2nd.

“This meeting has no relationship with….remember and I want you to be careful about it. There is N520 increment, which gave birth to this meeting. Nobody is discussing about 617 as at now and this meeting didn’t have the competence to address that. Is that clear? There are two issues, does that make sense?”

Plight of Nigerians

The leader of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo said there was still a long way to go, adding that government must address the plight of Nigerians.

“Some of the things they presented, we did not agree with. So the areas we did not agree with. We also made our impute known because when you come to such a meeting it is for the government or its representatives to do a presentation,” he explained.

According to him, the government must as a matter of urgency, roll out various programmes that will create alternatives to PMS, and also palliatives.

“So these are the two areas of focus, alternative to PMS, that is about the CNG and also the palliatives that must be brought out to ameliorate these sufferings Nigerians are passing through,” he insisted.

The TUC President also announced that the meeting would reconvene tomorrow, Friday, at the same venue.

RN