Fuel Price Increment: Labour Walks Out On FG

By Simdi Gloria:-

The meeting between the Federal Government and Labour ended as labour leaders walked out in anger few minutes after the meeting commenced.

The meeting started at 8:18 pm at the Presidential Villa in Abuja with the Trade Union Congress President raising the issue of the latest hike in fuel pump price from #160 to #170.

Labour walked out of the meeting when the Nigeria Labour Congress Deputy President, Mr Joe Ajero insisted that the issue of the recent hike in fuel price be the first in the agenda for discussion. But the government insisted on deliberating on other issues before moving into the fuel price increment.

This resulted in a heated argument between the two sides which led to walking out by the Labour team.

The General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Emma Ugbaje while speaking to Journalists said,
“We have had some understanding over time, but while these meetings were ongoing, we were suddenly slapped with a new increase in petroleum prices and we felt that was beyond what we had as an understanding with the government.

And we felt that should be the first item for understanding today. But surprisingly the government team felt otherwise, they felt the issue of imaginary palliatives should be discussed before what is causing the need for the palliatives should be discussed.

“And we felt that was putting the cart before the horse. We want to address the issue on petroleum pricing before we begin to think whether there is need for palliatives or not and on that strength we felt we cannot continue with a meeting whose agenda is wrongly prioritized.
When the Government is willing to take it the way it is, we are ever ready to engage and to have things properly determined.”

Asked on what would be the next step, he said, “We have to go back to our organs to agree on the way forward because we have leadership, we are known and clearly with that position we have to tell our members what the situation is.”

Mr Olaleye the Trade Union Congress President also said, Gentlemen of the press, as I mentioned at the beginning of the meeting that today’s meeting is not going to be an, as usual, while because we have seen the insincerity of government and it is putting us at risk.

“They are taking us for a ride which cannot continue. We are on the process of discussion for over three months now and they made an announcement increasing the fuel price again and no other person than the NNPC.

When has the authority been given to NNPC to increase the price of PMS, this is unacceptable, the meeting agenda is not well prioritized and because of that we are leaving the meeting, we cant continue, we will go back to our organ and we are going to get back to you on the next of action. We can’t continue with their insincerity.”

Senate Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour told a journalist that the government is willing to discuss the petrol price issues but felt that the meeting should follow it’s fixed agenda.

He also added another date will be fixed for meeting.

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