NLC vs FG: As Strike is Suspended, Here Are the Agreements Reached
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
In a significant turn of events, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have agreed to suspend the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike that was set to commence on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023. This decision comes after a series of intense negotiations between the labor unions and the Federal Government, which aimed to find a resolution to the crisis triggered by the withdrawal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
The strike notice issued by the NLC and TUC in response to the removal of PMS subsidy had cast a shadow of uncertainty over the nation. However, in a bid to avert this impending crisis, the Federal Government convened a meeting, which ultimately led to a set of agreements aimed at addressing the concerns of the labor unions and ensuring the welfare of Nigerian workers and citizens.
Key Agreements Reached:
Wage Award: The Federal Government has agreed to implement a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) for all Federal Government workers, effective from the month of September. This wage increase will remain in place until a new national minimum wage is officially enacted.
Minimum Wage Committee: Within one month of this agreement, a minimum wage committee will be established to further address and formalize wage-related matters.
VAT Suspension: The Federal Government will temporarily suspend the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for a duration of six months, starting from October 2023.
Mass Transit: A significant commitment has been made by the Federal Government to allocate N100 billion towards the provision of high-capacity Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses for mass transit across Nigeria. Additionally, 55,000 CNG conversion kits will be distributed to initiate an auto gas conversion program. The rollout of this initiative is set to commence by November, with pilot programs established in 10 campuses nationwide.
Tax Incentives: Various tax incentive measures for the private sector and the general public will be implemented by the Federal Government.
Labor Matters: The Federal Government pledges to address the leadership crises within the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the purported proscription of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in accordance with relevant International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts. A resolution to these issues is expected by or before October 13.
Outstanding Salaries: The matter of outstanding salaries and wages of tertiary education workers in Federal-owned educational institutions will be referred to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.
Household Support: The Federal Government commits to providing N25,000 per month for three months, starting from October 2023, to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
Fertilizer Distribution: Increased efforts in the subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country will be undertaken by the Federal Government.
State and Local Government Workers: The Federal Government will encourage state governments, through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum, to implement wage awards for their workers. Similar considerations will be extended to local government and private sector workers.
MSME Support: The Federal Government reaffirms its commitment to providing funds for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), as previously announced by the President on August 1st, with a focus on promoting decent jobs.
Refinery Rehabilitation: A joint visitation will be conducted to the nation’s refineries to assess their rehabilitation progress.
Social Dialogue: All parties involved in the agreement commit to adhering to the principles of social dialogue in all future engagements.
In light of these agreements, the NLC and TUC have jointly agreed to suspend the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike for a period of 30 days, originally scheduled to commence on October 3, 2023.
It is important to note that this Memorandum of Understanding will be filed with the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction within one week as a consent judgment by the Federal Government, further solidifying the commitment to these agreements.
- Comrade Joe Ajaero
- Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, mni President NLC General Secretary
- Comrade (Engr) Festus Osifo
- Comrade Nuhu A. Toro President Secretary General
- H.E. Simon Bako Lalong Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment
- Hon. Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment
- Mallam Mohammed Idris Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation
With the suspension of the strike and the agreements reached, it is hoped that these measures will contribute to resolving the pressing issues and concerns that have been at the forefront of national discourse.Download