In a bid to avert an impending nationwide strike, President Bola Tinubu has given his approval for a provisional wage increment of N35,000 for all treasury-paid Federal Government workers for a duration of six months.
This announcement follows a crucial meeting held between representatives of the Federal Government and leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).
The unions had earlier called for an indefinite nationwide strike commencing on October 3 to protest the removal of the petrol subsidy and ongoing economic challenges.
Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to President Tinubu, chaired the meeting and confirmed the president’s approval of the N25,000 provisional wage increment, which had initially been proposed for low-grade workers for six months. Prior to this resolution, the labour unions had expressed their dissatisfaction with the N25,000 increment.
After a four-hour deliberation, both the government and labour leaders reached several agreements. These agreements include provisions for wage bills, committees on salary increments, the provision of compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of the petrol subsidy, support for micro and small-scale enterprises, and a waiver of value-added tax (VAT) on diesel for six months.
Additionally, the Federal Government committed to initiating payments of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month, spanning October to December 2023.
A sub-committee will be formed to outline the implementation details of these government interventions designed to mitigate the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.
In a statement issued at the end of the meeting, Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, emphasized the government’s commitment to these initiatives. He noted that NLC and TUC would consider the government’s offers and may suspend the planned strike, allowing further consultations on the resolution’s implementation.