Labour meeting with FG ends in stalemate as fuel price hits over ₦600/litre

Labour meeting with FG ends in stalemate as fuel price hits over ₦600/litre

Joe Ajaero, president of  the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and his counterpart in Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, said no consensus was reached after a meeting with the Federal Government.

The meeting was convened at the request of the federal government in order to negotiate a deal with organized labor following President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that the petrol subsidy will be phased out by the end of June.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Joe Ajaero, said “As far as labour is concerned, we didn’t have a consensus in this meeting.”

He added that the removal of subsidy on oetrol puts the labour unions in a difficult position on the negational table.

“That’s the principle of negotiation. You don’t put the partner, ask them to negotiate under gunpoint. The prayer of the NLC is that we go back to the status quo, negotiate, think of alternatives and all the effects and how to manage the effects this action is going to have on the people. If it is an action that must take off.

“The subsidy provision has been made up to the end of June. And before then, conscious people, labour management, and the government should be able to think of what will happen at the end of June. You don’t start it before the time,” Ajaero said.

Dele Alake, a member of the government’s team, speaking after the meeting said the talk was engaging but did not provide details.

“We have been deliberating on finding very amicable resolutions to the issue at hand —to the queues and all of that and the increase in pump price,” Alake said.

“We had a very robust engagement. We cross-fertilised ideas, ideas flew from all sides and there is one thing that is remarkable even from the labour side — and that is Nigeria. We are all looking at the peace, progress and stability of Nigeria. That is what is paramount.

“Of course the NNPCL GCEO, Mr Kyari, is here, we cannot go into details now because the talks are still ongoing.

“We cannot finish everything at one setting, so we have adjourned now, we are continuing the talks at a later date very shortly. But the point is that the talks are ongoing and it’s always better for all sides to keep talking with a view to arriving at a very amicable resolution that will be in the longer-term interest for all Nigerians. That is as much as we can say now.”

Those who were in attendance on the federal government’s side were Folashade Yemi-Esan, head of the federal civil service; Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPCL); Tijjani Umar, permanent secretary of the state house, among others.

Integrity News reported that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) approved an increase in the nationwide pump price of petrol.

The approval goes into effect on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, according to a circular issued by the NNPCL.

In a circular seen by Integrity News, the petrol pump price for Abuja was increased from N194 to N537 per litre, while Nassarawa moved from N189 to N537 per Litre.

The pump price in Kogi was raised from N189 to N537, in Benue from N189 to N537, in Niger state from N189 to N537, in Adamawa from N199 to N550 per litre, and in Taraba it jumped from N199 to N550 per litre.

Yobe was raised from N199 to N557, while Kano was raised from N194 to N540. The price of a litre of petrol in Kaduna has risen from N194 to N540, and in Katsina from N194 to N540. Sokoto rose from N194 to N540, whereas Jigawa increased from N194 to N540. Kebbi state moved from 194 to N545. The price in Zamfara changed from N194 to N540. In Abia, the pump price of petroleum jumped from N189 to N515; in Imo, it increased from N189 to N515.

In other states, the price in Anambra moved from N189 to N520, Enugu from N189 to N520 and Ebonyi also jumped from N189 to N520. Rivers from N189 to N511, Akwa Ibom moved from N194 to N515, and Bayelsa from N189 to N515.

However, several retail outlets sold the product between 600 and N800 in Lagos, Abuja , Ogun and some other states.

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