NLC Strike: Labour Suspends Strike as FG relief electricity tariff for 2 weeks

It was a thorough deliberation which lasted for about 7 hours between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the federal government.

The purpose of the hour-long deliberation was to prevent the organised labour congress from embarking on its scheduled industrial strike action which was to commence on Monday, 28th of September.

However, at the end of the deliberation, the parties arrived at a progressive conclusion which prompted the suspension of the scheduled nationwide strike action.

Announcing the suspension of the strike in a communique jointly signed by the NLC leaders and the federal government and read by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Minister said the duo had agreed on a two week ultimatum to review the electricity tariff hike and the increased petrol pump price.

The communique reads, “The parties agreed to set up a Technical Committee comprising Ministries, Departments, Agencies, NLC and TUC, which will work for two weeks, effective Monday, September 28.

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“The committee will examine the justifications for the new policy, metering deployment, challenges and timeline for massive rollout.

“The Technical Committee membership is as follows: Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of State Labour & Employment, Chairman; Mr. Godwin Jedy-Agba, Minister of State Power, member; Prof. James Momoh, Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, member.

Others are Engr. Ahmad Rufai Zakari, SA to Mr. President on Infrastructure; member/Secretary, Dr OnohoOmhen Ebhohimhen, member (NLC); Comrade Joe Ajaero, member (NLC); Comrade Chris Okonkwo, member (TUC), and a representative of DISCOs, member.

“The Terms of Reference (ToR) are as follows: To examine the justification for the new policy on cost-reflective Electricity Tariff adjustments.

According to the communique, the committee would “Look at the different Electricity Distribution Company (DISCOs) and their different electricity tariff vis-à-vis NERC order and mandate.

“Examine and advise the government on the issues that have hindered the deployment of the six million meters.

“To look into the NERC Act under review to expand its representation to include organised Labour.

“The Technical sub-committee is to submit its report within two weeks.

“During the two weeks, the DISCOs shall suspend the application of the cost-reflective electricity tariff adjustments.

“The meeting also resolved that the following issues of concern to Labour should be treated as stand-alone items.

“The 40% stake of government in the DISCO and the stake of workers to be reflected in the composition of the DISCOs Boards.

“An all-inclusive and independent review of the power sector operations as provided in the privatisation MOU to be undertaken before the end of the year 2020, with Labour represented.

“That going forward, the moribund National Labour Advisory Council, NLAC, be inaugurated before the end of the year 2020 to institutionalise the process of tripartism and social dialogue on socio-economic and major labour matters to forestall the crisis.”

The organised labour had vowed to embark on industrial actions if the federal government refuse to review the hike in the pump price of petrol as well as the electricity tariff.

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