UPDATE: Organised Labour Rejects Gbajabiamila-Led Committee

UPDATE: Organised Labour Rejects Gbajabiamila-Led Committee

by Victor Ndubuisi

The Federal Government Committee established to negotiate salary reviews and other palliatives to lessen the effects of the loss of fuel subsidies on workers has received a vote of no confidence from Organised Labour.

According to Anaedoonline.ng, Joe Ajaero, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, said this during a meeting between the chief officers of the Senate and the leadership of organised labour, which was chaired by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

According to Ajaero, the team led by President’s Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila is unable to negotiate and has lost the support of the labour unions.

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He bemoaned that two months after Nigeria removed its fuel subsidy, the salary review committee had yet to meet and that the situation for Nigerians had gotten worse since.


The NLC president claimed that even though the court had upheld the status quo and labour leaders were still debating N537 per litre of fuel, the government had, shockingly, chosen to raise the price to N620 per litre.

He said, “Part of our challenge is the issue of the committee put in place. The committee seems not to be capable. As labour, we have done negotiations with previous administrations.

“At no time had the Chief of Staff to the President, who is very busy, called to negotiate or lead negotiations, and that has delayed the issues.

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“Even since our protest, another meeting has not reconvened, although the president promised that he will restructure the mechanism of engagement with the government for issues to be treated fast.”

“We had also agreed on wage award, and up till this moment, the committee on wage award is yet to sit.”

Similar to him, Festus Usifo, president of the Trade Union Congress, bemoaned the Federal Government’s slow progress on the palliative issue.


He said, “The government said they will create alternatives and palliatives, it’s over two months, and there is no sense of urgency.

“3,000 buses are too small. If the government has saved one trillion in two months, why can’t the government channel this money to tackle these alternatives?”

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After the meeting, Osifo spoke with media and said that the Senate leadership had promised them a meeting with the president and solutions to their issues within a few days.

He said, “At the meeting, we put our agenda forward and those things we said to them the last time we came here.

“The Senate has promised to take up the issue with the president. What we want is action, and we believe that in a few days, that will be answered. There was no ultimatum given to the Senate.”



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