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Strike Notice: Give us more time to implement labour agreement—FG

The federal government has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to give it more time to implement the agreements reached in October 2023.

President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu

Abuja, Nigeria

The federal government has urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to give it more time to implement the agreements reached in October 2023.

The government said all the agreements are not implementable at once.

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According to FG, one of the agreements which is setting up of conversion centres for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) would take some time before it would materialise, adding that the committee handling the aspect had gone far.

In October 2023, the federal government reached an agreement with the leaders of organised labour by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) after a 16-point agreement was reached.

The agreement followed agitation by the unions for the government to address the suffering of the masses emanating from fuel subsidy removal and find a lasting solution to the devaluation of the naira, inflation, insecurity among others.

The leadership of TUC and NLC said they were saddened that the government had not shown any sign of concern about the widespread suffering and adversity in the nation, despite the plan of the unions to maintain industrial peace.

The unions issued a joint 14-day notice to commence a nationwide strike to the government.

Reacting to the development in Abuja on Friday, the minister of state for labour and employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, said all the agreements reached with organised labour were not implementable at once.

He called on labour leaders to give the federal government more time.

“These agreements, all of them are not going to be done the same day. Some can’t be done in two, three or four months. Like the CNG, it is a process that’s ongoing, and I’ve just told Nigerians what the CNG group has been doing in the last four months.

“We’ve commenced deliveries on those agreements. We’ve been reaching out to the organised labour because the President is committed to these agreements, he has good faith, that’s why we don’t want anybody to shut down the economy at any time because it will affect everybody.

“It’s like you want to pull down the whole roof of a house, meanwhile, you’re still inside the roof. We’re not shying away from implementing the agreements we’ve entered with the organised labour,” Onyejeocha told journalists at the briefing.

The minister disclosed that the Tinubu-led administration through the Ministry of Finance had procured up to 11,500 CNG vehicles, including buses and tricycles, which would be rolled out by President Bola Tinubu soon.

She said the ministry would liaise with the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to ensure that the visitation to the refineries for on-the-spot assessment of the refineries is done without further delay.

“In line with the government ongoing commitment to improving the welfare of Nigerians, provisions have also been made for an initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits as part of the commencement of the auto gas conversion programme.

“Development of the state-of-the-art CNG conversion centres nationwide is also ongoing with the aim to deliver 1 million converted bi-fuel CNG/PMS vehicles to enable transporters and mass transit operators convert their vehicles that run on PMS to gas (which is forty to fifty percent cheaper than PMS),” she added.

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