The Federal Government and labour unions rose from their meeting on Sunday with an agreement that all categories of workers should benefit from the provisional wage increment announced by President Bola Tinubu in his Independence Day nationwide broadcast.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president had announced a wage increment of N25,000 for lower cadre workers in the country.
“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation.
“For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional twenty-five thousand naira per month,” Tinubu had said.
After a four-hour closed door meeting, Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that the president agreed to the new formula after an observation by the labour unions.
He said that other issues were agreed on and would be made available after the unions might have met with their various organs by Monday.
Gbajabiamila said that the government and the unions were all working for the good of the country and its citizens.
‘’We hope labour will convene their meeting tomorrow to present these agreements to their members and we pray that they will call off the strike by Tuesday, for the benefit of the workers and the country.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Joe Ajaero, said that the union had got a “promissory note” from the government to take back to its members, adding that the final decision would be communicated thereafter.
“We have looked at all the promissory notes from the government and how to translate it to reality and make it workable; we are going to take it to our organs and review.
“We are hopeful that our organs will take a look at them and give a fresh mandate on what next to do,’’ he said.
NAN reports that NLC and TUC had declared an an indefinite nationwide strike for Tuesday over the fuel subsidy removal palliatives which government had yet to implement.
In response to labour’s demands, the president had, on Sunday, announced a provisional wage increment for workers in the country as well as deployment of compressed natural gas-powered buses to ease cost of transportation.
The president had also said in the nationwide broadcast that his administration was committed to relieving the hardship being faced by Nigerians, adding that various measures had been taken by all tiers of government to mitigate them.
Tinubu said: “There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago.
“I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.
‘’We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilise the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.
‘’To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas.
“States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices,” he said.
NAN reports that the meeting had in attendance from the government side the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Lalong and Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkiruka Onyejeocha.
Others were Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris as well ministers of Budget and National Planning, Atiku Bagudu, Finance, Wale Edun and that of Trade, Investment and Industry, Doris Uzoka-Anite. (NAN)