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Government, Labour Meeting Inconclusive As Court Halts Planned Strike

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The meeting between the Federal Government, labour unions and civil society groups over the increase in petrol price and electricity tariff ended without a resolution a second time. Meanwhile, the court granted an interim order barring the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on a protest or strike over the price hike.

This is the second time the Federal Government is meeting with the organized labour and labour is insisting on a reversal of the current fuel price and electricity tariff. A previous meeting held last week was also inconclusive. The meeting took place at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa between 3 and 9 p.m. on Thursday.

Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, led the FG team, comprising of Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Barr. Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Sale Mamman, the Minister of Power, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Timipre Sylva.

Speaking after the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, appealed to the unions to put off their planned strike.

“Some progress was made and both sides had agreed (that) certain palliatives should be put in place to cushion the harsh effect of the increases on the citizenry. Fruitful meeting. They are going back to their organs. When they consult their organs tomorrow, next tomorrow maybe they will take a new decision,” he said.

He said the meeting has been adjourned to September 28 to allow all parties consult their members over issues raised at the meeting.

The labour unions threatened to embark on a nationwide protest on September 28, if the federal government fails to revert the prices of fuel and electricity tariff.

Electricity distribution companies hiked their tariffs from about N30.23 to about N62.33 per Kilowatts after the federal government said it would no longer subsidize electricity consumption.

Peace Omenka

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