FG begs NLC, TUC to withdraw 14-day ultimatum, pledges to resume payment of wage award

The Federal Government has assured the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) that it would resume the payment of wage award to workers this week.

A statement by Mr Olajide Oshundun, the spokesperson to the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, yesterday, said the Minister gave the assurance at a meeting with the leadership of the two labour unions in Abuja.

According to Oshundun, the minister summoned the meeting following the 14-day ultimatum issued by the labour organisations on the implementation of the 16-point agreement reached with them on October 2, 2023.

Onyejeocha appealed to the labour unions to withdraw the ultimatum, as government had stepped up efforts to complete the implementation of that agreement.

She said: “It is true we entered into an agreement, but the government has shown good faith, and considering the urgency of the issue at hand, I called this meeting because dialogue has always been the best way out, and we are all for the well-being of our people. I am here to show good cause on why some agreements have not been met.’’

Onyejeocha noted that even though the reaction of the labour unions was not unwarranted in the face of the government’s non-completion of the agreement, they must, however, bear in mind that some items in the agreement could only be achieved in stages.

She hoped that the discussion would lead to the rescinding of the ultimatum by labour.

She assured them of the President’s sincerity of purpose and unflinching dedication to the implementation of that agreement, adding that he would leave no stone unturned to satisfy the demands of the labour organisations.

“I plead with you to sheathe your sword. We have been showing good faith; it is just that it is not commensurate with your expectations; but I promise you that we will surpass your expectation this time, and I believe that everything will go well,” she said.

On the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, the Programme Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Presidential CNG initiative, Michael Oluwagbemi, who addressed the meeting virtually, said the government had made 70 percent payment for the procurement of new the CNG buses and kits. He said while some of the buses are ready, they expect to start assembling others locally, including tricycles, between March and April 2024.   

On his part, the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, enjoined the Federal Government to be committed to beating the deadline of the 14-day ultimatum, which started on February 9, 2024, by ensuring the implementation of that agreement.


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