The National Executive Council, NEC of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC met on Sunday, 3rd September, 2023 to deliberate on matters of urgent national importance.

The Meeting deliberated extensively on various issues, particularly the various palliatives that the federal government and some state governments have rolled out thus far.

The NEC took cursory note of the efforts the leadership of congress have been making in engaging government saliently and such quiet interventions culminated into the Federal Government approving the sum of 5billion to each state of the federation with 52 per cent as grant and 48 per cent as loan. The leadership of congress have since made its position known that the sum released is grossly insufficient to ameliorate the sufferings that Nigerians are passing through. This position was applauded by NEC in session and it directed its leadership to further engage the government to provide more palliatives and that its distributions must be monitored extensively to prevent diversion.

The NEC in session also appraised all the engagement the leadership of congress have been having with the Nigeria Governors Forum aimed at pressing them on the various interventions states government should be making in their respective domain. It was noted that most of the states have not provided any form of palliatives from state resource outside the unsatisfactory interventions so far made by the federal government.

NEC in session also looked at the issue of CNG as an alternative to PMS and took note of the quantity of conversion kits recently approved by the federal government and also the recently signed MOU between NNPCL and NIPPCO. It concluded that the quantities of kits approved are grossly insufficient and that there is need to do more. It also implore government to provide the enabling environment for the deployment of additional CNG infrastructures and sub stations across the country.

NEC also frowned at the pointed refusal of the Lagos State Government, LASG under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to abide by the National Industrial Court, NIC ruling of April 18, 2023 ordering it to vacate the premises of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN and allow the union free operation.

After extensive deliberations, the NEC-in-Session resolved as follows:

That the Federal Government must intensify discussions with the Labour unions on palliatives and alternatives as earlier promised.
To increase the amount provided for palliatives as 5billion given to each state is grossly inadequate.
That federal government should deploy high powered monitoring team to ensure that the palliatives get to the right people.

That President Tinubu should within the next one week make a categorical statement on Wage Award, tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers, to cushion the pains and anguish they are going through.

The modalities of accessing the intervention fund that was recently announced as palliatives to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises should be spelt out and implemented immediately.

That a national monitoring team be set up that will monitor the distribution of Palliatives across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. The Adhoc committee whose aim is to ensure verifiable and judicious utilization of the palliative will work with the various state councils to ensure that palliatives get to the poorest of the poor and not used for political patronage. These committees that will be headed by a NAC member will be stratified along the six geopolitical zones for effectiveness and efficiency.

That palliatives in themselves do not solve the long term challenges or hardship faced by the people, such long lasting programmes and initiatives should be evolved that will properly address the sufferings of the people in the long term.

That the LASG is given a two- week ultimatum within which it should obey the court order, and dispense with the impasse with RTEAN, or face a total shut down effective 12 midnight of 18 September, 2023. All affiliates of TUC and the Lagos State Council of Congress are directed to commence full mobilization, for the total shutdown in Lagos.

That as of today, the need to embark on a nationwide strike hasn’t arisen hence the leadership of congress should intensify the conversation with government so that all grey areas identified could be ironed out within the time frame given beyond which we cannot guarantee industrial harmony.

We therefore urge the Government to do the needful to avoid a situation where the TUC, its affiliates and allies would be compelled to confront the government.

Comrade (Engr) Festus Osifo,

Comrade Nuhu Toro,
Secretary General.
4th September, 2023.

Online Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *