The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has given the federal government until Friday to meet its demands, warning of the potential for another round of industrial unrest if they are not met.
This ultimatum came as the government requested additional time to address the grievances of the labor movement. The demands include wage awards, tax exemptions, and allowances for public sector workers, cost of governance reduction, provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, release of modalities for N70 billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), release of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) officials held by the police, and the vacation of occupation by police-backed interlopers, among others.
The President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, emphasized that the 21-day ultimatum would expire in a few days, and he hoped that the government would meet the union’s demands before then.
During the meeting, Ajaero pointed out that the NURTW issue falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, which could promptly resolve it. He also reminded the government that the NLC had given more than enough time for the demands to be addressed.
Ajaero stated, “It is not fair to ask us to give the government a reasonable period when we have already done so. He urged the minister to expedite action within the remaining days of the ultimatum.”
The Labour Minister, Simon Lalong, assured the NLC that the government was committed to addressing the valid grievances expressed by the union. He also emphasized the need to strike a balance that promotes economic growth while addressing labor demands.
The lack of trust between the government and the NLC was mentioned by Ajaero, who cited the removal of fuel subsidies as a contributing factor to the recent strike actions.
The government expressed its appreciation for the NLC’s presence at the meeting and stressed the importance of constructive dialogue in finding lasting solutions for the benefit of all Nigerians.