A meeting between the federal government and labour unions to discuss the hike in petroleum prices and electricity tariff has been moved to Tuesday, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The government announced the meeting to avert the planned strike by labour unions and other civil society organisations over the price increases.
The Nation newspaper reported that President Muhammadu Buhari Friday directed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, to dialogue with the labour unions on September 12.
But the spokesperson of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, in a phone interview said:
“The meeting has been moved to Tuesday, September 15.”
He said the meeting was moved to Tuesday to accommodate all participants.
“The venue is Banquet Hall of Presidential Villa. You know all parties that will be involved in the negotiation must be present,” he said.
Meanwhile, the President of Trade Union Council, Quadri Olaleye, in a phone interview with PREMIUM TIMES said the meeting could not hold on Saturday because the unions were not properly informed: “and we don’t attend such impromptu meetings.”
“We only read about the meeting in the media but now we have been properly communicated to so the meeting is now 10 a.m. on Tuesday,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how electricity distribution companies (DisCos) increased tariff from N30.23 to N62.33 per kWh for millions of consumers after government said it would no longer subsidize electricity consumption.
Also, the federal government removed the subsidy on petrol which led to an increase in price from N145 to about N161 per litre.
While the federal government says it no longer has the funds to subsidize petrol and electricity, critics say the government’s actions will worsen the plight of millions of Nigerians who are still reeling from the economic impact of COVID-19.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria Saturday night, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba said the labour unions will not protest until the Central Working Committee meets and agrees on an appropriate action.
““Labour takes one battle at a time; it does not make an announcement without backing its action,” NAN quoted Mr Wabba as saying.