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NLC, TUC ultimatum: We’ve implemented most of the agreement- FG

The Federal Government on Friday said it has shown good faith in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with organized labour.

 

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, stated while reacting to the 14-day ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Onyejeocha reiterated that the government is committed to maintaining open and constructive communication with the unions to foster positive labour relations and guarantee a supportive working environment for all workers, adding that negotiations are often a gradual process.

She assured taht the government will continue to leverage the principles of social dialogue, valuing the input of our social partners, with the goal of creating a better Nigeria for all.

The Minister urged organized labour to continue demonstrating prudence in their decisions and actions as the government works exceedingly hard to address the challenges currently faced by the nation.

According to her, “I would like to begin by acknowledging our profound concern regarding the difficulties currently experienced by Nigerian workers. This government acknowledges the challenges faced by Nigerians and has demonstrated sincerity in its ongoing negotiations with the trade unions.

“You will also agree with me that negotiations are often a gradual process, with resolutions unfolding in stages; however, the government is assuring Nigerians of its continued commitment to addressing labour concerns and fulfilling all agreements as we move forward together.

“The government would also like to assure organized labour of its commitment to maintaining open and constructive communication with them to foster positive labour relations and guarantee a supportive working environment for all workers.

“For example, the N35,000 wage award agreed upon between the government and organized labour is currently being implemented. However, we have received complaints regarding non-implementation in some public sector organizations as well as the private sector. The Ministry is actively addressing these issues to ensure compliance across all sectors.

“Two days ago, I mediated between the National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture, and Wood Workers (NUCEFWW), the Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA), and the Federation of Construction Industries (FOCI) (employers). Consequently, the parties have signed an agreement to resolve the issue.”

Onyejeocha said that the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) has intervened in the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) matter with the Lagos State government, adding that as a result, up to 80% of the agreement with the RTEAN management has been fulfilled, and ongoing efforts are in place to complete the remaining process.

She said, “The government would also like to bring to the public’s attention the 37-member tripartite committee on national minimum wage, which was recently inaugurated to recommend a new national minimum wage for Nigerian workers, all in a bid to mitigate the hardship the Nigerian citizens are facing. It is also important to note that organized labour has 12 members, representing the working people.

“Amidst these developments, the government is actively implementing its plan to go green with the implementation of the Presidential CNG Initiative, designed to alleviate the challenges arising from subsidy removal and transition Nigeria permanently to cheaper, safer, and more reliable gas produced domestically for transport.

“In line with the government’s ongoing commitment to improving the welfare of Nigerians, provisions have also been made for an initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits as part of the commencement of the auto gas conversion programme.

“Development of the state-of-the-art CNG conversion centres nationwide is also ongoing, with the aim of delivering 1 million converted bi-fuel CNG/PMS vehicles to enable transporters and mass transit operators to convert their vehicles that run on PMS to gas, (which is forty to fifty percent cheaper than PMS).”

“Additionally, the government, through the Ministry of Finance, is procuring up to 11,500 CNG vehicles, including buses and tricycles, that will be rolled out in fulfilment of the President’s promise by financing them at a concessionary rate, even as production and assembly are ongoing locally and will be delivered in the next few months.

“We shall also liaise with the NNPCL to ensure that the visitation to the refineries for on-the-spot assessment of our refineries is done without further delay.

“The government will continue to leverage the principles of social dialogue, valuing the input of our social partners, with the goal of creating a better Nigeria for all.

“We strongly urge organized labour to continue demonstrating prudence in their decisions and actions as the government works exceedingly hard to address the challenges currently faced by the nation.

“Finally, we wish to reassure Nigerians that this government is fully committed to honouring its obligations to workers and the less privileged in Nigeria. We will ensure the complete implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we entered into with Organized Labour.

“Our word is our bond. I can confidently say that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration stands firmly with the people, and the President is tirelessly working to ensure that everything is done to address the needs and concerns of the nation.”

 

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