Oil Price War: Senate wades into FG, NLC face-off, assures of quick end to strike

Posted by News Express | 20 May 2016 | 2,683 times

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The Senate has waded into the ongoing disagreement between the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Federal Government over the recent hike in fuel price from about N86 a litre to N145 per litre, which led to the ongoing strike by NLC.

Yesterday, Senate President Bukola Saraki met with top officials of the Comrade Ayuba Wabba-led NLC alongside the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Francis Ailimikhena, Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour, Suleiman Nazif, Senator Joshua Lidani, Senator Kabiru Gaya and Senator Mao Ohuabunwa.

National Executive members of NLC who attended the meeting with Wabba included NLC General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, Comarde Ibrahim Khaleel, Comrade Success Leke, Comrade Oladipo Fashina, Comrade Bala Hadi, Comrade Issa Aremu, and Hon. Uchenna Ekwe.

Saraki told reporters after the meeting that the industrial action embarked upon by NLC and some of its affiliate unions over the increment in the price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) will soon be resolved in the interest of the people.

He said the Senate would ensure that the window of dialogue is kept open towards the quick and smooth resolution of the disagreement while also expressing confidence over the commitment of the labour leaders towards resuming dialogue and negotiation with the government. He added that the National Assembly will not leave any stone unturned to facilitate quick resolution so as to address the issue once and for all.

The Senate President, who enjoined workers across the country to remain calm and law abiding, said: “I want to give a word of encouragement to Nigerians that I am confident that our efforts here in the National Assembly will go a long way to resolve this issue once and for all.

“I am happy to report that the NLC has shown their commitment to continue to dialogue with the Federal Government and our role is to see that we can facilitate that. We shall continue with the dialogue and we will surely address the issue. I am sure that when the labour leaders leave here, they are going to meet with their members and other stakeholders on the way forward.

“We in the Senate will continue to play our role in facilitating and ensuring that we can find a lasting solution and to reduce the hardship of the present economic realities on the masses and at the end of the day, I believe that we will all act in the interest of the people.”

Earlier, NLC President Wabba had commended the Senate President and his colleagues for their quick intervention and for inviting the labour leaders to get first-hand information from them. He added that labour is ready to return to negotiating table with the federal government.

Wabba lamented that while negotiations were still ongoing concerning the increase in electricity tariff, government went further to increase the price of the PMS from N86.50 to N145.

He denied media reports that the Labour leaders had walked out on the Government during their meeting aimed at averting the strike. He said: “We told the Senate President that at no point have labour leaders walked out on government. The facts and the issues presented and the position of government were made known to us and we did not actually agree.

“The government during the dialogue requested that we should excuse them. We have not at any point walked out on government. We will continue to dialogue because we are doing this in the best interest of the working class and a larger majority of Nigeria citizens.”

•Photo shows Senate President Saraki.

Source: News Express

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