The Nigeria Labour Congress aborted the possibility of having a thorough negotiation with the Federal Govt on the increase of petroleum. While the meeting was going on, the labour leaders ordered FG to return the petrol price to the old price before any further discussion but as FG did not seem to agree, they walked out of the meeting.
They claimed that the federal govt has started involving some deceptive acts that would not douse the situation but would only make it worse.
They insisted to have the government return the fuel price back to what it used to be before any further conversation but the request gave birth to an accusation that the government has resulted into insincerity.
The government team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige tried their possible means to return the meeting to where it started from but it proved abortive as the congress leaders walked away.
Even the minister of labour tried using his power to inform everyone of them that he was in charge and nobody should decide for him. On this note, the congress got angry and annoyed with what he said and eventually, eveyone departed angrily.
Moreover, the increase in the petrol price they brought to the congress for deliberation was not in any way part of what had been on discussion since the meeting started.
The general secretary to the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Emma Ugbaja, told the newsmen that,
“We have had some understanding over time, but while these meetings were ongoing, we were suddenly slapped with a new increase in petroleum price and we felt that was beyond what we had as an understanding with the government.
“And we felt that should be the first item for understanding today. But surprisingly the government team felt otherwise, they felt the issue of imaginary palliatives should be discussed before what is causing the need for the palliatives should be discussed.
“And we felt that was putting the cart before the horse. We want to address the issue on petroleum pricing before we begin to think whether there is need for palliatives or not and on that strength we felt we cannot continue with a meeting whose agenda is wrongly prioritized”.
Therefore, what will bring them back to a round table with the government is the readiness of the government to have a fruitful negotiation with them.
“When the Government is willing to take it the way it is, we are ever ready to engage and to have things properly determined.”
In addition to that, Trade Union Congress President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye added that the insecerity of the government over the fuel price has resulted into why their members felt the executive members of the congress have betrayed them and compromised the union for what the government wants.
However, they concluded that the union needed to go back and deliberate with the leadership of the union and also to inform and discuss with the members of the union about the new development from the government.
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