The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says the organised labour will soon come out with a position on the recent increase in prices of various essential commodities, including fuel and electricity.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday in reaction to the increase in the prices of petrol and electricity.
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The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced that the deport pump price of premium motor spirit (petrol) has been increased to N151.60 per litre from N145 with effect from Sept 2.
Also, electricity tariff was increased effective Sept. 1, by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from N30.23 per one kwh to N62.33.
Wabba, who spoke on the issues, said the organised labour would not protest until the Central Working Committee (CWC) met and agreed on appropriate action.
“Labour takes one battle at a time; it does not make announcement without backing its action,” the labour leader said.
He noted that NLC had remained consistent on neo-liberal policies, and would take appropriate action in respect of the increases in order to achieve desired result.
He also said that it was high time Nigeria started refining products locally to solve importation challenges.
On the suspended planned protest against the Rivers government, Wabba said that there was the need to mend fences between the state and labour to ensure harmonious relationship.
According to him, the will of the people should not always be taken for granted “as injury to one is injury to all”.
The NLC president called on other state governments to take appropriate steps toward addressing labour issues so as to avoid the wrath of the organised labour.
“We will take up any state that undermines the rights of workers.
“Workers should be conscious of their rights; there is synergy and we will confront recalcitrant employers to respect the law so that we don’t give room for sudden situations to rise,” Wabba said.
He further said that the Rivers government and labour have concluded negotiations on minimum wage, and the enabling circular would be released for a collective bargaining agreement to be signed.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, is to meet today (Saturday) with the organised labour in order to give the true picture of the nation’s economy in the midst of threats by various unions to embark on industrial action over the recent increases in electricity tariff and fuel price.
Dr Ngige, who announced this while briefing State House reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, said the meeting is on the directive of Buhari.
The minister said the meeting would give the labour unions an opportunity to look at government’s finances and listen to the challenges in the midst of the recent hikes.
He said: “The president has approved for us to have a bigger government side meeting with the organized private labour, all the government institutions that have to do with the finances of government so that we meet with them and show them the books.”