President Bola Tinubu is set to announce wage awards next week as a measure to mitigate the impact of the removal of subsidy on fuel on Nigerian workers.
This development was disclosed by the President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Festus Osifo, on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme.
The leaders of the TUC had previously given the federal government a two-week ultimatum to address their demands, ranging from wage awards, tax holidays for low-income earners, palliatives, among others, or face the possibility of industrial action by workers nationwide.
Osifo mentioned that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Hon. Simon Lalong, at a meeting with the government negotiating team, informed the Union that the President was going to make a pronouncement regarding their demands the latest by next week.
“The Minister of lour told us that he had an audience with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Minister of Finance and had reviewed the issue of wage award but that the president asked them to fine-tune the issues before he makes the announcement.
“The Minister told us all these issues would be streamlined but because the president has travelled, we should give him an extra two weeks. We said no; we don’t have an extra two weeks to give. The Minister assured that the president is going to come back by weekend and that by next week, even before the strike the president will make an announcement and that there is going to be pronouncements on the issues.”
While giving further details of its engagement with the federal government, TUC president said: “ Sometime last month we wrote a letter to the Minister of Labour and Employment and in that letter we clearly explained issues on how tax holidays could be given to people that are low incline earners.
“So today was an update by the Minister and we, the national officers of TUC, went to the meeting. Usifo said the Minister informed them that he and the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy have had audience with Mr. President and reviewed the issue of Wage Award and that there was something the president asked them to go and fine-tune and then get back to him so that he can make the announcement but that it was not possible before the president travelled.
“Also that the other issues about the federal workers and even the president’s pronouncement with regard to MSME, where are we on them? What has been done regard that?”
Osifo also noted that the Union raised concerns about the distribution of palliatives to States, emphasizing their intention to monitor the proper implementation of the scheme and requesting transparency in the implementation template. Additionally, the TUC raised concerns about taxation and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).