Labour Gives FG 14-day Ultimatum to Implement Agreements on Wage Award 

Labour Gives FG 14-day Ultimatum to Implement Agreements on Wage Award 

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja 

Organised labour under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria has issued a 14- day ultimatum to the Federal Government over the non-implementation of the 16-point agreement reached with the Federal Government on October 2, 2023. 

In a statement jointly signed by NLC President Joe Ajaero and his counterpart from the TUC, Festus Osifoh, the two apex labour centres threatened that if the Federal Government fails to honour its part of the understanding within 14 days from Friday, the workers will proceed on strike at the expiration of the ultimatum.

They said that government’s failure to uphold its end of the bargain is deeply regrettable and unacceptable to the working people and the citizenry.

“Constrained by this development and recognizing the urgency of the situation and the imperative of ensuring the protection and defence of the rights and dignity of Nigerian workers and citizens, the NLC and TUC hereby issue a stern ultimatum to the Federal Government to honour their part of the understanding within 14 days from tomorrow, the 9th day of February, 2024,” the labour movement said.

NLC and TUC said that it was regrettable that the workers are compelled to resort to such measures, but that the persistent neglect of the welfare of citizens and Nigerian workers and the massive hardship leaves them with no choice. 

They further said that everything must be done within the two weeks to avoid a situation, “where we may be compelled to take appropriate steps to protect Nigerian workers and masses”.

“We call upon the Federal Government to honour its commitments without delay. The time for empty promises and excuses has passed. The time for action is now. 

“Our patience has worn thin and the situation has become unbearable for workers and masses all over the federation. Further silence amounts to committing mass suicide and this remains the only feasible course of action left for us and Nigerians to -compel remedial action by Government,” the unions said.

NLC and TUC said they are resolved to salvaging Nigerian workers and the masses from the apparent insensitivity and lethargy of those in the corridors of power who are supposed to be the bastion of public trust. 

The statement further read: “We express profound concern over the non-implementation of the 16-point agreement reached with the Federal Government on October 2, 2023. 

“Despite the passage of time, the majority of these crucial agreements remain unmet or negligibly addressed, indicating a blatant disregard for the principles of good faith, welfare and rights of Nigerian workers and Nigerians.

“These agreements, which were reached with the Federal Government were focused on addressing the massive suffering and the general harsh socioeconomic consequences of the ill-conceived and ill-executed IMF/World Bank induced hike in the price of PMS and the devaluation of the naira. 

“These dual policies have had as we predicted dire economic consequences for the masses and workers of Nigeria. 

Widespread Hunger is now ravishing millions of Nigerians, with the workers purchasing power significantly eroded, while insecurity has assumed an increasing dimension.

“Nigerians are left wondering where their next meals will come from and what tomorrow might bring. The level of panic and anxiety amongst the populace has become nightmarish unfortunately, in the midst of all these, it appears our government is bereft of appropriate measures to ameliorate the huge burden it has foisted on the citizenry.

“We wish to state that these agreements, which encompass a wide range of issues crucial to the well-being of Nigerian masses and workers, have not been honoured as pledged by the Federal Government. 

“From wage awards, palliative adjustments to improved access to public utilities; to the meddlesomeness in the internal affairs of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the interference by the Lagos State Government in union activities, the case of illegal and unlawful proscription of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).”

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