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NLC Writes FG Over ‘Fulfilment of 80%’ Agreements Claims


NLC Writes FG Over ‘Fulfilment of 80%’ Agreements Claims

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has written to the Federal Government, dismissing claims that the government has fulfilled 80 percent of the October 2, 2023 agreement with Organised Labour.

NLC in a letter dated February 29, 2024, asked the government to come out clean on any part of the agreement it fully fulfilled, warning that resorting to propaganda and disinformation is heightening restiveness among the citizens.

In the letter addressed to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, NLC’s Acting General Secretary, Ismail Bello, advised the government to between now and March 13, 2024, the deadline to fast-track the process of implementation of the agreement and avoid a looming industrial crisis.

Titled “HAS THE GOVERNMENT TRULY IMPLEMENTED THE OCTOBER 2, 2023 AGREEMENT? among others, NLC wrote “We write to bring to your attention our concerns regarding the implementation of the October 2, 2023 agreement.

“Your statement, suggesting that the government has fulfilled 80 percent of the said agreement has raised a lot of worries among our members. “As key stakeholders to that agreement, we feel compelled to address this issue as it may mislead the public and undermine the trust that ought to exist between the government and the Nigerian people especially that which ought to exist between us as social partners.

“Upon careful examination of the 15 points outlined in the October 2, 2023 agreement, it is evident that most of them have not been fully met.

“Furthermore, the few that were supposedly being addressed have been implemented in breach. Allow us to highlight these examples and we would be happy to be contradicted in any of them.

“The first item on the Agreement is the N35,000 Wage Award. We hope that you still remember that by the end of January this year, the federal government had only paid just one month of the four months due to

workers. It took pressure from us before some additional months were paid this month. However, it still remains in arrears and has caused undue financial strain on affected workers nationwide.

“The Port Harcourt Refinery has yet to resume production despite assurances to the contrary. As we write despite the firm pledge that products will start flowing out of that refinery latest December 2023, nothing has happened. If a litre or a truckload of a product has left the refinery to the pumps, Nigerians would be glad to know.

“The promised N25,000 cash transfers to 15 million poor households have not materialized rather, all manners of sad tales verging on deep corruption and other mal-feasance have emerged from its management substantiating our earlier fears on the nature of the social register.

“Tax waivers for workers, small businesses, and the general public which were supposed to reduce hardship on the populace have not been implemented, further burdening them financially.

“Government interference in the internal affairs of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, persists, as evidenced by the continued occupation of the national secretariat by impostors at the behest of the federal government.

“The agreement to deposit the agreement as a settlement with the Court remains unfulfilled, contrary to the spirit of the October 2 conversation which was also given vent by the unfortunate utterances of the Attorney General of the federation as to the existence of an injunction.

“Promised initiatives such as Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, buses, and conversion kits have yet to materialize, which seriously questions the sincerity of the government’s commitment to faithfully implementing the agreement.

“The Agreement that all parties shall henceforth commit to the use of social dialogue in all of our engagements has not been adhered to as the Government has continued to deploy threats, intimidation, harassment, and outright violence against Nigerian workers and trade union leaders.

“The National Minimum Wage Committee which was supposed to have been set up immediately after the agreement was delayed till this month(February). This has seriously delayed the work of the Committee and may jeopardise the accomplishment of the April 19 deadline for a new national minimum wage act.

“Outstanding Wages and Salaries for Tertiary Education workers in all federally-owned educational institutions are yet to be implemented as agreed.

“Many States of the federation including Organised Private Sector businesses are yet to implement the Wage Award as agreed.

“Nothing has come out of the agreed Fertilizer initiative as farmers continue to groan under the burden of the scarcity of fertilizer across the nation.

“The commitment to providing funds for MSMEs across the nation has not seen the light of the day as the government seems to have abandoned it completely.

“We believe that rather than resort to propaganda and disinformation, the Government should focus its energy on speedy implementation and seamless engagement with critical national stakeholders.

“We urge you to address these concerns promptly and take concrete steps to fulfill the commitments made by the government in the October 2, 2023 agreement. Transparency and accountability are paramount in building trust between the government and its citizens.

“We are hopeful that the Government will utilize the extended ultimatum period to fast-track the process of implementation of the agreement. “This is the only way to avert restiveness within the civil society which we are committed to leading. It is our responsibility and we are determined to continue pursuing this course for the sake of Nigerian people and workers.

“We look forward to your using your good office to fast track the resolution of all the remaining issues by ensuring that the government which you represent honours agreements that it has willingly entered into with the NLC.

“It is only by fully complying with that agreement that we can all applaud the government and the nation will make progress.”

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