Nationwide strike: Governors beg labour unions, reveal next line of action

Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have again appealed to the labour unions to shelve the planned strike for Monday as the Governors of the 36 states revealed their plan towards the unions’ concern.

In a meeting held on Saturday morning, called to resolve the impasse occasioned by the threat by workers to embark on industrial action if the Federal Government does not rescind the recent decisions to increase the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Electricity Tariff in the country,  the governors pleaded for more time to consult more broadly with the various stakeholders, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, assuring that the issue would be top priority for the NGF and promised to meet with key stakeholders immediately.

The meeting had in attendance NLC President Ayuba Wabba, who was accompanied by the TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, and the NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboajah, to the meeting. Also at the meeting was the Director-General of the NGF Mr Asishana Okauru.

The Chairman explained that Governors decided to wade into the on-going negotiations with a view to broadening consultations and assist to bring the impasse to an end, thus averting the impending strike action.

He pleaded with the unions that the timing of the action was inauspicious and could aggravate an already worsening situation if not averted.

The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, emphasised that the plight of workers in the country was already in dire straits and that any action embarked upon by the union at this time would further worsen their situation as contained in the communique issued by governors after their first emergency meeting on Thursday, September 24, since the outbreak of the pandemic and eventual lockdown of the country, last March.

Fayemi expressed hope that this gesture from the governors would also energise the leadership of labour to put a hold on their planned action.

Fayemi stated that Government and Labour are not that far apart in the negotiation and the differences are not irreconcilable.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba agreed with the NGF Chairman and also praised him for agreeing to broaden the mechanism for consultation on the matter saying: ‘I praise you for showing a good grasp of this matter and I believe that if they had widened the mechanism for consultation and involved people like you, we wouldn’t have come to this pass.’

Wabba, however, said the Federal Government violated the time-tested global process of dialogue while thanking the NGF Chairman for his efforts at ensuring that sanity returns to the negotiation table.

‘When the cost of PMS rises, the cost of everything in the country rises with it,’ Waba said.

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