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Reverse petrol, electricity prices

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NIGERIA Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday, issued a two-week ultimatum to federal government to reverse the hikes in electricity tariff and the fuel pump price or face civil unrest nationwide. The ultimatum expires on Wednesday, September 30.

NLC handed down the warning at its Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting.

Reading their communiqué at the end of the meeting, President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba said the ultimatum takes immediate effect.

He further warned that labour would mobilise workers for nationwide protest after September 28.

“We have convened because of the twin issues of hikes in fuel price and electricity tariff and the CWC has noted that the two increases, despite the fact that they are ill termed because of COVID-19 and the economic situation of the country, the CWC has also identified that it has reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians. Also, it has brought about high cost of goods and services and it has eroded completely the gains of N30k minimum wage. The CWC also took report of the meeting that held between the federal government and organised labour where NLC was represented by 14 of its leaders and therefore has resolved to issue a two weeks ultimatum to the federal government to reverse or face full industrial action. In furtherance to this, the CWC has resolved to also convene the meeting of the National Executive Council in line with our constitution on the 22nd of September, to also give effect to this decision. The action will commence on Monday 28th of September, if those issues are not addressed,” Wabba read.

It will be recalled that Labour met with federal government on Tuesday, over the 7-day ultimatum given by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Monday, but negotiations ended in stalemate.

But Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has described the seven day ultimatum issued by Trade Union Congress (TUC) as misplaced.

Ngige said this while fielding questions from State House Correspondents at the end of the 15th Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting  which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, yesterday.

According to him, the ultimatum is already misplaced because it was addressed to President Buhari, which contravenes labour laws.

“The TUC issue, the seven-day ultimatum was misplaced because they were writing the President and issuing ultimatum to him. The President is not recognised by ILO. The competent authority for this nature of dispute in Nigeria resides in the man who oversees them, which is whoever the Minister of Labour and Employment is,” he said.

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