Sat. Jan 23rd, 2021

Why NLC suspended the strike and how Nigerians reacted

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The country’s organised labour (NLC, TUC and others) have decided to call off the much publicized nationwide strike that should have commenced Monday, September 2020. This follows series of consultation meetings between the labour group and the Federal Governmment held on September 15, 24 and 27, 2020.

The strike was called off after the following resolutions were reached:

A Technical Committee on Electricity Tariff policy has been established. It is chaired by the HMS Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo, and comprises FG MDAs, NLC and TUC, and will work over the next two weeks, starting today.

Its mandate shall include:

a. Examine justification for the electricity tariff review

b. Review the deployment of meters and advice FG on issues hindering implementation

During this two-week period, DISCOs will suspend implementation of the electricity tariff adjustments.

The PMS subsidy regime has stifled downstream sector growth. In addition, the dire financial circumstances of the Federation preclude the ability to sustain any subsidy on PMS, and thus makes the deregulation of the sector inevitable.

NNPC will expedite rehabilitation of its Refineries, with a 50% completion target for Port Harcourt by December 2021.

NNPC will integrate national leadership of NUPENG and PENGASSAN into the Steering Committee already established to oversee the Rehabilitation Exercise.

A Validation Team comprising of Reps of NNPC, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), NUPENG and PENGASSAN will be stablished to monitor the progress of the Rehabilitation of Refineries, Pipelines and Depot Networks, and to advice the Steering Committee periodically.

Mr Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commended the Labour leaders for the decision to suspend the strike. In a message on twitter, Kyari said, “Being a former Union leader, I understand the difficulties of Labour leadership when faced with choices between stark realities and legitimate follower expectations. The leadership chose the pursuit of common good and posterity will vindicate us all for standing with our country.”

Meanwhile, lots of Nigerians have taken to Social Media to voice their disappointment with the NLC. On Twitter, one Abdul-Aziz Na’ibi Abubakar said “NLC, TUC have no excuse to reverse their decision. This shud be a lesson for the masses, we must embark on a Nationwide protest until the FG decided to do the needful. #NLCprotest

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