Federal Government and Organised Labour Sign 15-Point Agreement, Averting Nationwide Strike
In a decisive last-minute effort to avert the impending nationwide strike, representatives from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and the Federal Government have come together to sign a 15-point memorandum of understanding.
This significant agreement follows extensive discussions between both parties, marking the second meeting held within a span of 24 hours.
Outlined in the memorandum of understanding is a series of pivotal commitments, addressing concerns arising from the withdrawal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and the subsequent hike in its price. The key points of this historic agreement are as follows:
1. The Federal Government pledges a wage increment of N35,000 for all Federal Government workers, effective from September. This adjustment will remain in effect until the enactment of a new national minimum wage.
2. A minimum wage committee is set to be established within one month from the date of this agreement.
3. The Federal Government temporarily suspends the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for a duration of six months, commencing from October 2023.
4. An allocation of N100 billion is earmarked by the Federal Government for the procurement of high-capacity Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, aiming to bolster mass transit in Nigeria. Furthermore, provisions are underway for an initial rollout of 55,000 CNG conversion kits, igniting an auto gas conversion initiative. Pilot programs are slated to kick off in 10 educational campuses nationwide, with full-scale implementation set for November.
5. The Federal Government commits to implementing a range of tax incentive measures benefiting both the private sector and the general public.
6. Addressing the internal disputes within the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the alleged proscription of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), the Federal Government vows to handle labour-related matters in adherence to pertinent ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts. A resolution to the ongoing deadlock is anticipated by or before October 13.
7. The issue of unpaid Salaries and Wages for tertiary education staff in federally-owned educational institutions will be referred to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for further deliberation.
8. The Federal Government undertakes to provide N25,000 per month for three months, commencing in October 2023, to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
9. The Federal Government will intensify efforts to subsidize the distribution of fertilizers to farmers nationwide.
10. The Federal Government is urged to encourage State Governments, through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum, to implement wage adjustments for their workforce. Comparable consideration should also be extended to local government and private sector employees.
11. The Federal Government affirms its commitment to funding initiatives as announced by the President in his August 1st address to the Nation, targeted at Micro and Small Scale Enterprises. Beneficiaries in the MSME sector are expected to uphold the principles of fair employment.
12. A joint assessment will be conducted on the state of refurbishment at the refineries.
13. All parties commit to adhering to the principles of Social dialogue in all future engagements.
14. The NLC and TUC agree to postpone, for a duration of 30 days, the planned indefinite nationwide strike originally slated to commence on October 3, 2023.
15. This Memorandum will be formally submitted to the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction within one week, to be recognized as a consent judgment by the Federal Government.