FG, Labour leaders’ meeting ends in deadlock


FG, Labour leaders’ meeting ends in deadlock

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Wednesday’s meeting between the organised labour and the Federal Government representatives at the State House, Abuja, over the removal of fuel subsidy ended in a stalemate with no agreement reached between both parties.

The meeting was held at the Conference Hall of the Chief of Staff to the President.

It came after the announcement by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that subsidy on fuel had gone and the introduction of new prices of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the NNPCL.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero and his counterpart of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Festus Osifo, led the organised labour team to the meeting.

Former NLC President and immediate past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar; Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan; Group Chief Executive Officer, of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, and a Director in the defunct Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Organisation, Dele Alake, among others, also attended the meeting.

Ajaero and Osifo, who spoke after the stalemated meeting, stressed that status quo be maintained on the prices of petrol while negotiations continued.

The two labour leaders said another meeting would hold after discussions with members of their executives on the outcomes of Wednesday’s interaction with Federal Government team.

Ajaero disclosed that there was no consensus reached at the end of the meeting.

“As far as labour is concerned, we didn’t have a consensus in this meeting,” Ajaero said.

The NLC President faulted the decision of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to review the petrol pump price in its filling stations nationwide before the meeting.

He noted that the NNPCL’s price increase placed the labour unions in a difficult position during negotiations.

Ajaero said, “That’s the principle of negotiation. You don’t put the partner, ask them to negotiate under gunpoint.

“The prayers of the NLC is that we go back to statusquo, negotiate, think of alternatives and all the effects and how to manage the effects this action is going to have on the people. If it is an action that must take off.

“The subsidy provision has been made up to the end of June. And before then, conscious people, labour management, government should be able to think of what will happen at the end of June. You don’t start it before the time.”

Alake, who spoke on the outcome of the meeting from government’s side, said negotiations on solutions to all issues at hand would continue.

Alake said, “We have been deliberating on finding very amicable solutions to the issue at hand, to the queue and all of that and the increase in pump price.

“We had a very robust engagement. We cross-fertilized ideas, ideas flew from all sides and there is one thing that is remarkable even from the Labour side, and that is Nigeria. We are all looking at the peace, progress and stability of Nigeria. That is what is paramount.

“Of course, the NNPCL CEO is here, Mr Kyari, we cannot go into details now because the talks are still ongoing. We cannot finish everything at one setting, so, we have adjourned now, we are continuing the talks at a later date very shortly.

“But the point is that the talks are ongoing and it always better for all sides to keep talking with a view to arriving at a very amicable resolution that will be in the longer term interest for all Nigerians. That is as much as we can say now.”