The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has applauded the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) for showing understanding with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration by calling off their planned strike action to protest increases in electricity tariffs by the electricity distribution companies and the removal of subsidy on petroleum products.
The group noted that the two major labour unions had appreciated the level of consultation deployed towards resolving the lingering issues as well as the palliatives proposed by the Federal Government to alleviate the pains of the hike in electricity tariffs and removal of fuel subsidy.
The NLC and TUC had called out their members to embark on an indefinite strike action beginning from Monday 28th September 2020. The threat necessitated a marathon negotiation between the Federal Government and representatives of the labour movement.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO noted that “the President had assured Nigerians that the increases in the pump price of petroleum motor spirit (PMS) and the electricity tariffs were not intended to inflict economic pains on the people, rather the depletion in Federal Government’s revenues following the fall in global oil prices caused the President to submit to the pressures mounted on him over the last five years”.
The group acknowledged that the President remains committed to his pro-people policies, urging the people to appreciate that the increases were as a result of the economic realities in the country.
BMO noted that as part of the agreements which led to the suspension of the strike action, the labour movement emphasised the need for an expedited rehabilitation of the country’s four refineries, the building of modular refineries and improved metering of electricity consumers.
The group also acknowledged that this was the first time the labour movement has agreed with government’s position in a negotiation, stating that this is as a result of the trust Labour reposed in the President who has kept his faith with the people by fulfilling his electioneering campaign promises by embarking on people-oriented projects and programmes.
“The labour movement in Nigeria also reposed trust in the President as he keeps enunciating policies towards improved quality of life for Nigerians, and only yielded to the realities of economic challenges facing the country by acceding to the increases”, the statement added.