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Strike suspended as FG, labour, reach agreement

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Joe Ajaero

The planned strike action scheduled today has been suspended after the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, reached an agreement with the federal government.

The strike was to protest the recent hike in fuel price and electricity tariff in the country.

Organized labour had said that the hike is insensitive to Nigerians who are still struggling with the hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The planned strike has now be suspended after an agreement was reached between labour and the federal government at 2:53 a.m on Monday.

This is according to he Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN.

He tweeted:

“FG & LABOUR reach agreement at 2:53am. Deregulation to stay as Govt rolls out palliatives for labour (details in 2 weeks); Electricity tariffs suspended by Govt for 2 weeks with a joint Committee headed by @fkeyamo to examine the justification for the new policy. Strike suspended.”

Labour also issued a communique which confirms the suspension of the strike.

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The communique is signed by labour leaders and also the representatives of the federal government who were present at the meeting.

The communique reads, “The parties agreed to set up a Technical Committee comprising Ministries, Departments, Agencies, NLC and TUC, which will work for two weeks, effective Monday, September 28.

“The committee will examine the justifications for the new policy, metering deployment, challenges and timeline for massive rollout.

“The Technical Committee membership is as follows: Mr Festus Keyamo(SAN), Minister of State Labour & Employment, Chairman; Mr Godwin Jedy-Agba, Minister of State Power, member; Prof. James Momoh, Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, member.

“Others are Engr. Ahmad Rufai Zakari, SA to Mr President on Infrastructure; member/Secretary, Dr OnohoOmhen Ebhohimhen, member (NLC); Comrade Joe Ajaero, member (NLC); Comrade Chris Okonkwo, member (TUC), and a representative of DISCOs, member.

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“The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.

According to the communique, the committee would “Look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.

“Examine and advise the government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.

“To look into the NERC Act under review to expand its representation to include organised Labour.

“The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.

“During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.

“The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand-alone items.

“The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.

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“An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatisation MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.

“That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalise the process of tripartism and social dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall the crisis.”





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