Paul Obi and Wale Ajomotokon in Abuja
The federal government on Tuesday reached an agreement with the factional labour group to review the petroleum pump price increase, minimum wage demands and palliatives expected to cushion the effect of the current economic hardship.
The faction of the labour group led by Comrade Joe Ajaero and NUPENG President, Comrade Igwe Achese met with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Information and Cultural Orientation, Lai Muhammed and Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State.
Speaking on behalf of government, Oshiomhole said: “We have all agreed, that is the labour and the representatives of the federal government under the SGF, have agreed on the following: That we will work towards setting up a framework for the review of the national minimum wage, because we all agreed that this have to be a tripartite body.
“Secondly that labour appreciates the decision of the federal government to set up half a trillion naira in the 2016 budget to cover what the Minister of Budget described as Social investment. Now with respect to the management of this social investment, and the various component of the social investment, the two parties agreed that labour should involve in this process. And come up with suggestion.
“Labour and the representatives of the federal government will meet within two weeks to discuss on the modalities to setting up the regulatory board of PPPRA. For its statutory responsibility, which is the issue in focus.
“This faction has agreed on these terms and that they will not be part of the strike.
Because they rather wait for the outcome of this above raised issues before embarking on strike,” Oshiomhole said.
“On the pact of the factional labour group, Ajaero told the gathering that “we insisted that there was no way we could mobilise, sensitize, and even start an action tomorrow. That we rather negotiate, and are it only when the negotiation fails that we will take the option of going I to any action.
“On the basis of that, we agree that a committee should be set up to among other things look at the issue of minimum wage, the 500 hundred billion social investments, PPPRA Board, and review the N145 new pump price of petroleum product. The committee is to report back in two weeks time,” Ajaero stressed.