Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have fixed to eight weeks for the conclusion of negotiations over salary raise and palliatives over petrol subsidy removal.
However, on the part of the Organised Labour it has demanded that some “grey areas” in the vexed issues of subsidy removal should be addressed and dealt with before reaching an agreement on implementation framework to be adopted.
Persecondnews reports that the demands were part of the fall-out of the resumed negotiations held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, chaired by the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.
Briefing newsmen after the tripartite meeting, the Presidential spokesman, Mr Dele Alake, announced that a Presidential Proposal Steering Committee which has five sub-committees was set up.
Negotiation, however, continues today (June 20) with the sub-committees created – Cash Transfers, Social Investment Programme (SIP), Cost of Governance, Energy, Mass Transit and Housing – given eight weeks to conclude their assignment to hasten the implementation of the framework in cushioning the effects of the scrapping of subsidy on Nigerians.
Also briefing journalists, the TUC President, Festus Osifo, explained that the proposal steering committee is expected to come up with ideas on palliatives and salary raise.
“I am hopeful that the implementation will come to fruition because we are going to be part of it. We will monitor it closely to ensure it comes to fruition. In furtherance, the committee is expected to hit the ground running.
“We will also meet in seven days to compare notes on the achievements so far to ensure the timeline is met,” he said.
NLC’s Joe Ajaero, who demanded that the grey areas should be addressed, said an agreed membership of both the steering and sub-committees should be on a basis of 60 to 40 per cent.
According to him, it is imperative that they return to the normal mechanism in setting up tripartite committees in the past.
He assured that if the solutions and recommendations thrown up are adopted and implemented faithfully by the government, they would go a long way to cushion the fuel subsidy removal.
“There is a promising note that something may happen if we all sit down and look at the committees very well, and come up with solutions and recommendations to be adopted and worked on by the government.
“But along this stretch between working on the committee, making submissions and adopting them, the implementation becomes an issue because we know that committees have been set up before that came up with recommendations, but which were not followed. If they were followed, we would not be where we are today.
“For instance, we agreed before in the last administration on the issue of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and what to do. If they had implemented the CNG programme, we wouldn’t be here; Nigerians won’t be bothered because we have a substitute. It is the implementation of what has been suggested that is the issue.
“Work begins today, the nominees from the stakeholders from government and labour will be submitted today. We have eight weeks to conclude the assignment,” he said.
Attendees at the meeting included the Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, Mr Dele Alake and Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mr Mele Kyari among others.