President Bola Tinubu has approved N35,000 for workers on the Federal Government payroll for a six-month period to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy reduction in the country as part of preparations to forestall any possible industrial action.
The N25,000 was granted in phases by the President during a meeting on Sunday between Federal Government officials and labor groups to avert a nationwide strike.
The conference, presided over by Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President, agreed that the N25,000 promised by the president to low-cadre workers during his 63rd independence broadcast would be made available to all workers.
However, Labour officials reportedly rejected the offer and sought more, citing the country’s skyrocketing food and other prices.
Shortly after reports of the development were filed, the president approved an extra N10,000, raising the conditional wage boost to N35,000 for all workers.
According to the statement, “The Federal Government, on Sunday, October 1, 2023 met with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) on measures to address the dispute arising from the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“The parties noted the following: The Federal Government has announced N35,000 only as provisional wage award for all treasury-paid federal government workers for six months following further consultation with President Bola Tinubu.
“The Federal Government is committed to fast-tracking the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidy.
“The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds for micro and small-scale enterprises. In light of the discussions held during the meeting, the following were the major highlights:
“The Federal Government urged the Labour unions not to embark on strike action as the issues in dispute can only be resolved when workers are at work.
“Labour Unions made case for higher wage award. A sub-committee to be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
“The labour delegation was led by NLC President, Joe Ajaero, Dr Tommy Etim Okon, Deputy President, TUC, NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, among others.”