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Strike to commence as FG, Labour talks Fails..



The talks between the federal and the Organised Labour over the removal of petrol subsidy and the increase in electricity tariffs, led to a deadlock on Monday.

While welcoming the labour leaders to the meeting held at the Bouquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, urged stakeholders to hitch heads and deliberate how Nigeria can survive the economic challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ngige said the meeting is “a bilateral dialogue between us as Nigerians to think about the state of the economy and events that have necessitated recent increases in electricity tariff and therefore the price of petrol.”

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, urged the labour to point out more understanding with the govt over its policies.

According to Sylva, Nigeria lost about N1billion daily between 2016 and 2019, as a results of fuel subsidy and N3.74billion daily before 2016.

“There are tons of issues to discuss; from 10 o’clock we haven’t been ready to trash out all the things; i feel it’ll be right to line committees to further deliberate and resolve them,” he said.

But the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, argued that the recent hike in cost of fuel and electricity tariffs further aggravated the economic hardship facing Nigerians.

Wabba said workers who have lost their jobs and sources of income thanks to COVID-19, are being forced to form further sacrifices.

“Those issues that constitute the worth are a part of the inefficiency within the system which the govt hitherto has been paying and christened subsidy. the govt cannot transfer the inefficiency to the people. Nigeria should refine its products,” he said.

“At this point, what do you have on the table to cushion the effects on workers – their families because they have been pushed to the wall and already at the edge. Do you have anything for us? So that we can now say that despite these challenges, this is what I have for Nigerian workers that they can have something that can cushion this effect for them.”

According to him, “Already the worth of wage had been eroded. The purchasing power parity, once you compare with all West African countries, we are already on the bottom .

“That is that the reality. In Ghana, compare their wage with our own; altogether West Africa countries, including Niger Republic that has just started refining recently, they’re now serving us with products. that’s not how we need to be.”

The meeting ended with no agreement reached, while no date was fixed to continue the talks.