The talks between the Federal Government and the Organised Labour over the removal of petrol subsidy and the increase in electricity tariffs, ended in a deadlock on Monday.
While welcoming the labour leaders to the meeting held at the Bouquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, urged stakeholders to join heads and deliberate how Nigeria can survive the economic challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ngige said the meeting is “a bilateral dialogue between us as Nigerians to consider the state of the economy and events that have necessitated recent increases in electricity tariff and the price of petrol.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, urged the labour to show more understanding with the government over its policies.
According to Sylva, Nigeria lost about N1billion daily between 2016 and 2019, as a result of fuel subsidy and N3.74billion daily before 2016.
“There are a lot of issues to discuss; from 10 o’clock we haven’t been able to trash out all the things; I think it will be right to set committees to further deliberate and resolve them,” he said.
But the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, argued that the recent hike in cost of fuel and electricity tariffs further aggravated the economic hardship facing Nigerians.
Wabba said workers who have lost their jobs and sources of income due to COVID-19, are being forced to make further sacrifices.
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