Four days after organised labour walked out on the Federal Government, a rescheduled meeting held on Thursday at the Presidential Villa has ended without both parties reaching an agreement, forcing an adjournment to Monday, December 7, 2020
The meeting which lasted about three hours could not deliberate further because organised labour demanded an immediate reversal of the latest petrol increase before further deliberations.
The demand by labour could not be immediately granted even though the meeting went into sessions of consultations before being shifted.
Earlier at the opening of the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had said the rescheduled meeting on Thursday is a continuation of the last, which was on recess, contrary to reports that talks broke down.
Ngige said the meeting is being reconvened to produce tangible results from past deliberations as he dismissed any form of witch-hunting.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who attended all the previous meetings, assured organised labour of the government’s commitment to ensure amicable resolution of pending issues.
Leaders of the Trade union congress, TUC, and the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Quadri Olaleye and Joe Ajaero in their opening insist that organised labour is always ready to discuss issues, but the approach of the government remains the issues unresolved.
While Olaleye insisted on clear communications from the government and calling for the media to be allowed to remain in the meeting from start to finish, Ajaero criticised the late-night meetings which had consistently violated labour laws as he pushed for adequate compensation for the journalists covering the deliberations
The meeting among other things is expected to deliberate on palliatives to cushion the effect of the increases in petrol pump price and electricity tariff as well as the recently increased fuel price.
Attendance includes the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipreye Silva, Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, and Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedi Agba.
One of the newcomers at the meeting is the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Faruk, who is probably attending the meeting because of the aspect of palliatives.
Before the meeting went into a closed session, Ngige replied organised labour on the appeal on behalf of journalists, saying the reward of every worker, both government, organised labour and journalists is in heaven.