President Bola Tinubu has responded to the rejection of his initial offer by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) by raising the temporary allowance for treasury-paid Federal Government workers.
The allowance has been increased from N25,000 to N35,000, aiming to ease the financial burden brought about by the removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, announced this on Sunday night after the government’s meeting with the unions failed to yield desired outcome.
The allowance, which will be paid for six months, comes as the federal government seeks to find common ground with the labour unions to prevent strike action.
President Tinubu pledged to resolve demands of the labour unions while urging workers to remain at their posts.
Among commitments made by the Tinubu administration were the fast-tracking of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus provision to enhance public transportation in response to the removal of subsidies on PMS (Premium Motor Spirit).
Additionally, the government pledged to allocate funds to support micro and small-scale enterprises, as well as grant waivers on VAT for diesel over the next six months.
Furthermore, the government announced its plan to distribute N75,000 to 15 million households, providing N25,000 per month over a three-month period from October to December.
The information minister revealed that the NLC and TUC have agreed to consider the offers made by the federal government and potentially suspend their planned strike to allow for further consultations.
“A sub-committee will be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
“NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above,” said Idris.
The initial meeting was held virtually and chaired by Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, and attended by Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State who doubles as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
Among the attendees were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; the Minister of State, Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu.
Others were the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu; the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite; the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu.
The labor delegation was led by NLC President, Joe Ajaero; Deputy President of TUC, Dr. Tommy Okon; NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja; and TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro.