FG, Labour Meeting Again Ends in Deadlock

The Federal Government and labour meeting on fuel and electricity tariff hikes has again ended in deadlock following for the second time in one week.

The outcome follows failure of both parties to reach a consensus on the issue.

The meeting had last week ended in similar fate with both parties agreeing to engage further in consultations.

Although the Federal Government put several offers on the table in the form of palliatives, The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), however turned down the offers insisting that the electricity tariff hike must be suspended before they can engage with government.

At the meeting that lasted over four hours, at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday night, the Federal Government offered palliatives in the areas of housing, transportation and agriculture, but though NLC and TUC appreciated the offers they however said unless the electricity tariff increase was reversed, they were not prepared to continue the negotiation.

Some of the palliatives put on the table by government include; tax free N30,000 minimum wage for levels 1-4 workers, provision of mass housing for members of organize labour, provision of financial support to the tune of N2.5 billion for those captured under the conditioner cash transfer for the urban poor, provision of unspecified number of buses to ease cost of transportation and the provision of one million units of meters in the next three months under the mass metering project among others.

At the end of the meeting, both parties agreed to return to their different constituencies for further consultations on the matter and to reconvene on Monday.

Present on the side of the government were Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, minister of labour and employment Dr. Chris Ngige, minister of power Alhaji Saleh Mamman, minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of state petroleum resources Chief Timipre Sylva and minister of state labour and employment Mr. Festus Keyamo.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) was led by its President Mr. Ayuba Waba while the Trade Union Congress (TUC) was led by Mr. Quadri Olaleye.

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