The federal government on Wednesday said the threat of the organised labour to begin strike if their demands were not met after the 21-day ultimatum which ended on September 21 is not in the interest of workers and the government.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, stated this while answering questions from State House reporters after a closed-door meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said it would be inappropriate to assess a new government on the basis of its activities within a few months in office and described labour leaders as very patriotic Nigerians who would not cause a strike at this point in time.
Akume stated these when asked about what the government would do concerning the deadline of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) which would lapse today.
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Also speaking on the issue, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, said since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was not around, they would continue to discuss many of the issues with the vice president.
Asked if there was any hope concerning the deadline for an indefinite strike threatened by the organised labour, he said, “I don’t think there is any problem. We have fully spent time with the Nigerian labour and the posture of the president too is towards welfare and prosperity for workers. We have no doubt and that’s why in many of the meetings we have with them we are not ending up boxing ourselves, we are all smiling. We hope that the best is going to come.”
Asked if he could say categorically that there would be no strike, he said, “I don’t want to say that; I’m not the NLC’s President.”
The meeting between the federal government and the Nigeria Labour Congress on post-subsidy removal palliatives for workers ended in deadlock, on Monday.
The meeting which was convened by Lalong failed to address any of the issues raised by the NLC.
The NLC President, Joe Ajaero, had said none of the demands raised by workers, which the government pledged to meet, had been met despite the two-day warning strike.
Meanwhile, the SGF has said Nigeria’s Independence Day anniversary at the Eagle Square in Abuja and other locations will be low-key to reflect on the journey so far and assured Nigerians that better days were ahead.