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Labour Unions Suspend Strike for Thirty Days

In a significant development, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have jointly decided to suspend the impending indefinite strike set to commence on Tuesday, October 3. This suspension, lasting for a duration of 30 days, is the result of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently negotiated with the Federal Government.

Under the terms of this agreement, the Federal Government has committed to rigorously upholding and fulfilling the terms agreed upon during the negotiation meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday night. The MoU, signed by key figures on both sides, including NLC President Comrade Joe Ajaero, TUC President Comrade (Engr) Festus Osifo, and government representatives H.E. Simon Bako Lalong, Hon. Dr. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and Mallam Mohammed Idris, reads as follows:

“Due to the withdrawal of the subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Federal Government, which led to an increase in its price, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued a strike notice. This notice had elapsed, and they were preparing to commence a strike on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023.

As a result, the Federal Government convened a meeting to avert the strike, and after extensive discussions, the following agreements were reached:

  1. The Federal Government will institute a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) for all Federal Government workers, effective from September. This wage increase will remain in effect until a new national minimum wage is officially enacted into law.
  2. A minimum wage committee will be established within one month from the date of this agreement.
  3. The Federal Government will suspend the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for a six-month period, starting from October 2023.
  4. The Federal Government has committed to allocating N100 billion for the provision of high-capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria. Additionally, provisions are underway for the initial distribution of 55,000 CNG conversion kits to initiate an auto gas conversion program. Concurrently, efforts are in progress to establish state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide, with pilot programs set to begin in November across ten campuses nationwide.
  5. The Federal Government plans to implement various tax incentives for the private sector and the general public.
  6. Regarding the leadership crises within the NURTW and the purported proscription of RTEAN, the Federal Government commits to addressing labor matters in accordance with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labor Acts. A resolution of the ongoing dispute is anticipated by or before October 13.
  7. The matter of outstanding salaries and wages for tertiary education workers in federally-owned educational institutions will be referred to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.
  8. The Federal Government will provide N25,000 per month for three months, starting in October 2023, to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
  9. The Federal Government will enhance its initiatives for the subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers nationwide.
  10. The Federal Government will encourage state governments, through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum, to implement wage awards for their workers. Similar considerations should be extended to local government and private sector workers.
  11. The Federal Government reaffirms its commitment to providing funds, as announced by the President on the 1st of August, for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises. MSME beneficiaries are encouraged to adhere to the principles of decent jobs.
  12. A joint visitation will be conducted to assess the rehabilitation status of the refineries.
  13. All parties pledge to adhere to the principles of social dialogue in all future engagements.

In light of these agreements, the NLC and TUC have agreed to suspend the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike for a period of 30 days, originally scheduled to commence on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023. This Memorandum will be officially filed with the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction within one (1) week as a consent judgment by the Federal Government.”

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