Peter Olaniyi /Segun Oladipupo |
At exactly 2: 53 am on Monday, the Nigerian labour unions suspended their planned industrial action as they struck a temporary agreement with representatives of the Nigerian government for a two-week suspension of new electricity tariff among others.
The planned strike action was to commence today.
Minister of State for Labour, Mr. Festus Keyamo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who announced this on his verified Twitter handle @fkeyamo, declared that the unions – Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) – reached an agreement with the government at 2.53am on Monday morning and the “strike suspended.”
FG & LABOUR, Keyamo said, “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.
The agreement read that the two hirtherto feuding parties agreed to reversal of electricity tariff for a period of two weeks pending outcome of technical committee.
Another area of agreement is fixing of existing refineries.
To unveil special funds to be accessed by workers for agricultural ventures and economic sustainability.
And to facilitate the removal of tax on salary. And to make available 133 CNG/LPG mass transit buses before December 2021.
However, in the new agreement, the price of petroleum remains unchanged while the hike in electricity will be suspended for two weeks pending the outcome of the recommendation of the committee inaugurated to address the issue.
The technical committee on Electricity Tariff reforms comprises of Ministries, Agencies, Departments, NLC and TUC, which will work for a duration of two weeks with effect from Monday, September 28, 2020, to examine the justification of the new policy in view of the need for the validation of the basis for the new cost-reflective tariff on electricity.