Wednesday, 18 May 2016

NLC reveals why they worked out of meeting with Nigeria Government

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on the night of Tuesday, May 17, walked out on the Nigerian government, after a last minute meeting in attempt to avert a nationwide strike over the increment of petrol price, collapsed mid-way before the end of the meeting.

Representatives of the organised labour staged a walkout on government representatives, claiming that the government refused to even consider its demand for a reversal of the price hike, and an earlier increase in electricity tariffs. 

The meeting, called by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, was attended by the president of NLC, Aliyu Wabba, who led representatives of affiliate groups including Trade Union Congress, TUC, and civil society organisations. 

Sources reveal that the meeting was barely an hour into its agenda when the labour leaders decided to stage a walkout after what they called the “refusal of government to accede to their demands”. 

Premium Times reports that the General Secretary of the NLC, Peter Ozo-Eson, said members could not continue to put up with the government’s unbending attitude towards their demands. 

“The talks with government broke down because it was not ready to address the issues the NLC placed on the table for discussion; so we left,” Mr. Ozo-Eson said.

“The demands the NLC and its affiliates made formally in writing on Saturday were that government should first revert to the fuel price of N86.50 per litre before any other decision. 

“Again, we demanded that the electricity tariff imposed on the people last January should also be reversed. But, government said they were not ready to discuss such things. 

“They said they wanted to discuss minimum wage and palliatives. But, those were not issues we were ready to start any discussion with,” he said. 

Ozo-Eson said labour was not interested in listening to what offers government was going to make in respect of the two issues it offered to talk about, saying their interest was a complete reversal of the fuel price and electricity tariff. 

He said the government could not be talking about minimum wage first when most Nigerians are not even working and are being tasked further financially and economically by the hike in fuel price and increased electricity tariff.

Source: Premium Times

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