THE meeting between Organised Labour and Federal Government, at the Presidential Villa on Friday, July 28, ended in deadlock.
It was gathered that representatives of the workers union walked out of the meeting with the Presidential Steering Committee on Subsidy Palliatives.
The labour delegation led by its president, Joe Ajaero, had earlier met the government delegation on Wednesday, July 26, where the two parties agreed to reconvene on Friday to get a brief from the government’s subcommittees on mass transit, compressed natural gas (CNG), and cash transfer.
The steering committee was set up by the Federal Government to address the effects of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.
Walking out of the Chief of Staff’s office in disappointment, the labour leaders accused the Federal Government of using the meetings as a ploy to deceive Nigerians.
According to Punch, Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, waited for the labour delegation alongside other team members but excused himself to attend to other official matters within the Presidential Villa when the union’s delegates did not show up.
It was gathered that the organised labour delegation from the NLC and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) experienced minor delays while entering the State House due to clearance issues. The delay occurred because the names of the delegation members were not sent to the gate early enough for clearance.
But, despite the issues, the Federal Government insisted that the meetings had made some progress.
“We’ve agreed to continue to make progress. It was a very productive meeting. The focus was really on how to fast-track a lot of the interventions that will bring relief, particularly around CNG, mass transportation, cleaner energy, transportation, and reducing the impact of the cost of transportation, and the increased cost of transportation. So, we’ve made good progress,” said the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Olu Verheijen.
Meanwhile, the National Executive Council of the NLC insisted on a nationwide strike and mass protests scheduled for August 2 over the recent hike in the pump price of petrol despite the court order restraining the union from embarking on the planned nationwide strike.
Recall that the NLC planned to protest against the removal of subsidy in June but suspended the exercise after a meeting with government officials.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.