In a dramatic turn of events, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have suspended their planned nationwide indefinite strike, set to begin on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
This decision comes after a marathon meeting between the labor unions and the Federal Government, resulting in a significant breakthrough in negotiations.
The key highlight of the agreement is the Federal Government’s commitment to grant a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) to all Federal Government workers, effective from the month of September.
This wage increase provides much-needed relief to workers facing the economic challenges posed by the withdrawal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and the subsequent increase in fuel prices.
Furthermore, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlines several other crucial agreements reached during the meeting:
Minimum Wage Committee:
A minimum wage committee will be inaugurated within one month to address the broader issue of a new national minimum wage.
VAT Suspension on Diesel:
The Federal Government has suspended the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on diesel for six months, starting in October 2023.
CNG Buses and Conversion Kits: The Federal Government has allocated N100 billion for the provision of high-capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria, along with 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kickstart an auto gas conversion program.
Tax incentive measures for the private sector and the general public will be implemented by the Federal Government.
Labour Matters Resolution: The Federal Government commits to handling labor matters in accordance with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labor Acts, with a resolution expected by or before October 13.
Outstanding Salaries and Wages:
The issue 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.
The Federal Government will provide N25,000 per month for three months, starting in October 2023, to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
The Federal Government will increase initiatives for the subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country.
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, extending similar considerations to local government and private sector workers.
The Federal Government commits to providing funds for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) and expects beneficiaries to adhere to the principles of decent jobs.
Additionally, a joint visitation will be made to the refineries to assess their rehabilitation status, and all parties commit to abiding by the principles of social dialogue in future engagements.
The suspension of the planned indefinite nationwide strike by the NLC and TUC is a significant development in the ongoing dialogue between labor unions and the Federal Government.
The MoU reached during this meeting will be filed with the relevant court as a consent judgment by the Federal Government, cementing the agreements reached and providing a roadmap for future labor negotiations.
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