Organised labour has rejected a committee headed by Femi Gbajabiamila, chief of staff to President Bola Tinubu, set up to negotiate with it with a view to finding solutions to the hardship caused by subsidy removal.
The union said it became imperative to reject the committee against the backdrop that it has proved to be incapable of resolving the impasse.
The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and that of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) was led by their presidents, Comrades Joe Ajaero and Festus Osifo, respectively.
Speaking Tuesday after their meeting with the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the leadership of the Senate, the National President of NLC, Joe Ajaero who noted that Tinubu wage award committee is yet to sit two months after the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria, said, ” Part of our challenge is the issue of the committee put in place ,the committee seem not to be capable , as labor we have done with Negotiation and engagement with the government from the time of Ikaite, as SGF, kingibe, Pius Ayim and Boss Mustapha .
“At no time had the chief of Staff to the president who is very busy called to negotiate or lead negotiations.
“And that has delayed the issues , even since after our protest , another meeting have not reconvened , although president promised that he will restructure the mechanism of engagement with government to help things to be treated fast.
“We had agreed on wage award, and up till this moment the committee on wage award is yet to sit.”
Speaking at the meeting earlier, the NLC President who lamented plight of Nigerians as a result of removal of fuel subsidy without putting anything on ground to ameliorate the effect in the country, told the lawmakers that while Labour leaders were still deliberating on N537 per liter of fuel and Court had ruled for status quo to remain , but surprisingly the government decided to increase the fuel to N620 per liter.
Speaking further Ajaero who noted that $800 million intended to borrow to cushion effect of subsidy removal and you till now the Labour yet to get information about urging Federal government not to use the record that was used in the past by the previous administration, said ” Nothing is yet to happen bon the issue of 800million Projected to be borrowed, we have not perfected the list of the people who will benefit from it .
“We should not follow the record that was used in 2019 because we’ve our doubts on that record.And no indices have been put forward to dictate those that are termed poor.”
In his response, the President of the Senate Akpabio ejo hailed the Organized Labour for their patience and understanding to assist government, told the Labour Union that although President has saved N1 trillion as a result of fuel subsidy removal , but Mr President inherited a broke country with debt over N30 trillion.
Akpabio assured the aggrieved Labour Union of partnership and approach the Executive to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians, even as he promised them of its readiness to partner with the labour unions to proffer lasting solution to the perennial trade disputes in the country, through the enactment of laws that would bring back smiles on the faces of the workers and Nigerians.