The meeting between the organised labour and the federal government representatives at the State House, Abuja, on the removal of subsidy on fuel ended in a stalemate as no agreement was reached.
According to report, the meeting at the Conference Hall of the Chief of Staff to the President came after the announcement by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that subsidy on fuel had gone and new prices of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) introduced by NNPCL.
Recalls that Nigeria’s new President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday, May 29, 2023, said the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended. President Tinubu said the 2023 Budget made no provision for fuel subsidy, and subsidy payment is no longer justifiable.
“The fuel subsidy is gone,” Tinubu declared in his inaugural speech at Eagles Square on Monday after he was sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th President.
See Video After Federal Government Meeting With NLC Over Fuel Subsidy
In reaction, marketers and operators increased the petrol pump price to N210-N500 per litre. On Monday evening around the Nation’s capital showed that long queues returned as residents buy fuel for 210/per litre against N195/per litre. However, some filling stations in Kubwa expressway, Lugbe still sell fuel at N195/per litre.
On the other hand, in Lagos, the sharp increase in fuel pump price is almost 100 per cent as Lagosians purchase the product for N370/per litre from 180/per litre. In Warri Delta state, the pump price had jumped to N500/per litre.
Apparently displeased with the situation, the organised labour led by the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero and his counterpart for the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Festus Osifo, held a meeting with President Tinubu’s federal government team.
The former President of NLC and immediate past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the Permanent Secretary, of State House, Tijjani Umar, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the Group Chief Executive Officer, of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, and a Director in the defunct Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Organization, Dele Alake, among others attended the meeting.
Speaking after the stalemated meeting, Ajaero and Osifo stressed that status quo be maintained on the prices of PMS while negotiations continued.
Both labour leaders said another meeting would hold after discussions with members of their executives on the outcomes of Wednesday’s interaction with federal government team.
The NLC President said there was no consensus after the meeting, adding that “As far as labour is concerned, we didn’t have a consensus in this meeting.”
Ajaero picked holes in the decision of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to review the petrol pump price in its filling stations nationwide before the meeting, stating that the price increase put the labour unions in a difficult position during negotiations.
“That’s the principle of negotiation. You don’t put the partner, ask them to negotiate under gunpoint.
“The prayers of the NLC is that we go back to statusquo, negotiate, think of alternatives and all the effects and how to manage the effects this action is going to have on the people. If it is an action that must take off.
“The subsidy provision has been made up to the end of June. And before then, conscious people, labour management, government should be able to think of what will happen at the end of June. You don’t start it before the time,” Ajaero said.
Speaking on the outcome of the meeting from the side of the government, Dale Alake said talks on solutions to all issues at hand would continue.
He said: “We have been deliberating on finding very amicable solutions to the issue at hand, to the queue and all of that and the increase in pump price.
“We had a very robust engagement. We cross-fertilized ideas, ideas flew from all sides and there is one thing that is remarkable even from the Labour side, and that is Nigeria. We are all looking at the peace, progress and stability of Nigeria. That is what is paramount.
“Of course, the NNPCL CEO is here, Mr Kyari, we cannot go into details now because the talks are still ongoing. We cannot finish everything at one setting, so, we have adjourned now, we are continuing the talks at a later date very shortly.
“But the point is that the talks are ongoing and it always better for all sides to keep talking with a view to arriving at a very amicable resolution that will be in the longer term interest for all Nigerians. That is as much as we can say now.”
See video below;
The meeting between the Federal Government over fuel subsidy removal has ended without a consensus. pic.twitter.com/1SPK3S0zLq
— Channels Television (@channelstv) May 31, 2023
BY IYABO AINA
Publisher Of News Rain Nigeria