June 11, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Why Labour shifted date of ‘total national lockdown’ … the 7 persons whose signatures counted

ORGANISED Labour has decided to shift, by 30 days, the new date for the commencement of a nationwide economic shutdown over its lingering squabbling with government.
The shutdown would have commenced after midnight on Monday but, just before that zero-hour, leaders of both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) urged workers to tart.
Delaying action for one month is to determine how sincere and faithful the government would be to a 15-paragraph memorandum of understanding (MoU) that both parties entered into after grueling five hours of negotiations.
At least, seven signatures were required to assuage the combative workers’ feelings, getting them to back down on the strike and ease tensions that had been reaching boiling points.
When that meeting ended, six men and one woman signed the MoU, although many of them might have been certain (privately) that many subheadings in the agreement are hardly reasonable or realisable within the time frame, if ever.
Terms of the MoU
Signing the MoU are labour and employment minister Simon Bako Lalong, information and national orientation minister Alhaji Muhammad Idris, and minister of state for labour Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejocha, all three signing for government.
Then NLC president Joe Ajero, general secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, as well as TUC president Festus Osifo and general secretary Paul Nowak, signing for Labour.

  1. Government grants a wage award of N35,000 to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of September, 2023 pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.
  2. A (national) Minimum Wage Committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of this agreement.
    N100bn for CNG buses
  3. Government suspends collection of value added tax (VAT) on diesel for six months beginning from October, 2023.
  4. Government accepts to vote N100 billion for the provision of high capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria. Provisions are also being made for initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kick start an auto gas conversion programme, whilst work is on-going on modern CNG stations nationwide. The rollout aims to commence by November with pilots across 10 campuses nationwide.
  5. Government to implement various tax incentive measures for the private sector and the general public.
  6. On the leadership crises rocking the NURTW and the purported proscription of RTEAN, the Federal Government commits to handling Labour matters in line with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian labour acts. A resolution of the on-going impasse is expected by or before October 13, 2023.
  7. The issue of outstanding salaries and wages of tertiary education workers in federal-owned institutions is being referred to Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.
  8. Government commits to pay N25,000 per month for three months starting from October, 2023 to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
  9. Government will increase its initiatives in subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country.
    FG to urge states to follow suit
  10. The Federal Government should urge state governments through the National Economic Council, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, to implement wage awards for their workers. Similar consideration should also be given to local government and private-sector workers.
  11. Government commits to the provision of funds as announced by the President in his August 1 broadcast to the nation for micro- and small-scale enterprises. The MSE-fund beneficiaries should commit to the principle of decent jobs.
  12. A joint visitation will be made to the refineries to ascertain their rehabilitation status.
  13. All parties commit to henceforth abide by the dictates of social dialogue in all our future engagements.
  14. The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned indefinite nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
  15. This Memorandum shall be filed with the relevant court of competent jurisdiction within one week as “consent judgment” by the Federal Government.