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Fuel Subsidy Removal NLC stands alone, says strike to proceed

The issue and the mandate we have is to the effect that the generality of Nigerian workers feel that the pump price of N145 per litre is too outrageous and out of proportion.

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Motorists queue to buy petrol at a fuel station in Ahaoda in Nigeria's oil state in the Delta region, in a file photo. play Motorists queue to buy petrol at a fuel station in Ahaoda in Nigeria's oil state in the Delta region, in a file photo. (REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted that the planned nationwide indefinite strike will commence on Wednesday as its meeting with the Federal Government was deadlocked.

NLC President Ayuba Wabba made this known while addressing newsmen after his group walked out of a meeting with the Federal Government representatives led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal,

According to him, the government refused to reverse the N145 increase of petrol pump price, among other issues.

He said that the Federal Government failed to meet the demand of the National Executive Council of the NLC, including reversing the new petrol pump price of N145.

"The issue and the mandate we have is to the effect that the generality of Nigerian workers feel that the pump price of N145 per litre is too outrageous and out of proportion.

"Therefore, it is something that with the hard economic situation, it is very difficult for them to go by, especially in the context of the quantum of the increase.

"Therefore, even the attempt to try to see how this can be mitigated was not actually made possible at the meeting.

"We thought that we should not continue in a process where we think the end product has not been able to meet our minimum expectation and this would not bring succour to the larger Nigerian public.

"It is on this decision, we thought that it is not necessary for us to continue in the process as the mandate given to us by the NEC today is the effect of reversal of the pump price especially.

He added that the NLC position was to discontinue with the meeting and embark on the planned strike.

On the ruling of the Industrial Court restraining the NLC from embarking on the planned strke, Wabba said that the congress had not received any court ruling.

"We are not aware of any court ruling that has been served on NLC; we have not been served and I can say that as we are here, we have also informed them that we are not aware of any court ruling.

"We have not been put on notice and we are not aware,’’ Wabba insisted.

In a separate news conference, Mr Bobboi Kaigama, the President, Trade Union Congress (TUC), pledged the union's support for the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.

Kaigama said that TUC would no longer embark on the nationwide strike as earlier proposed, adding that the decision was taken at the National Executive Council meeting of the TUC.

"We want to say that we have disengaged ourselves from this strike because we have been duly educated on the benefits of the fuel subsidy removal.''

He pledged continued support for government policies that would benefit Nigerian workers.

NAN reports that the Federal Government had also met separately with the Joe Ajaero-led NLC faction, which has also backed out of the planned labour strike.

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