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Monday, 04 March 2024 04:03

Only implementation of the agreement’ll stop the nationwide strike, NLC insists

THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, insisted yesterday that the only thing that would stop the planned nationwide strike over the hardship in the country was the federal government’s honouring of the agreement it had with labour.

This was contained in the latest letter written to the government, where in the NLC dismissed claims by the federal government that it had fulfilled 80 per cent of the October 2, 2023, agreement with organised labour.

 

NLC in the letter dated February 29, 2024, asked the government to come out clean on any part of the agreement it fully fulfilled, warning that resorting to propaganda and disinformation was heightening restiveness among the citizens. In the letter addressed to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, NLC’s Acting General Secretary, Ismail Bello, advised the government to, between now and March 13, 2024, deadline, fast-track the process of implementation of the agreement and avoid a looming industrial crisis.

 

The letter, titled “Has the government truly implemented the October 2, 2023, agreement,” reads: “We write to bring to your attention our concerns regarding the implementation of the October 2, 2023 agreement.

“Your statement suggesting that the government has fulfilled 80 per cent of the said agreement has raised a lot of worries among our members. ”As key stakeholders to that agreement, we feel compelled to address this issue as it may mislead the public and undermine the trust that ought to exist between the government and the Nigerian people especially that which ought to exist between us as social partners.

“Upon careful examination of the 15 points outlined in the October 2, 2023, agreement, it is evident that most of them have not been fully met. “Furthermore, the few that were supposedly being addressed have been implemented in breach. Allow us to highlight these examples and we would be happy to be contradicted in any of them.

“The first item on the agreement is the N35,000 wage award. We hope that you still remember that by the end of January this year, the federal government had only paid just one month of the four months due to workers. It took pressures from us before some additional months were paid this month. ”However, it still remains in arrears and has caused undue financial strain on affected workers nationwide. The Port Harcourt Refinery has yet to resume production, despite assurances to the contrary.

”As we write, despite the firm pledge that products will start flowing out of that refinery latest December 2023, nothing has happened. If a litre or a truck load of product has left the refinery to the pumps, Nigerians would be glad to know.

“The promised N25,000 cash transfers to 15 million poor households have not materialized. Rather, all manner of sad tales verging on deep corruption and other mal-feasance have emerged from its management, substantiating our earlier fears on the nature of the social register.

“Tax waivers for workers, small businesses and general public, which was supposed to reduce hardship on the populace have not been implemented, further burdening them financially.”

[Vanguard]

 
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