The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Nigeria Labour Congress met on Saturday in a last-minute push to resolve the impasse over the federal government’s decision to increase fuel price and electricity tariff.
The chairman Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said the timing of the action was inauspicious and could aggravate an already worsening situation if not averted.
He stressed that the plight of workers in the country was already in dire straits and that any action embarked upon by labour at this time would further worsen their situation as contained in the communiqué issued after their first emergency meeting on Thursday, 24th September, 2020.
He said no one conversant with the prevailing situation in the country would disagree with labour and its demands, as it were, but pleaded that governors be given time to consult more broadly with the various stakeholders, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, the vice president and the president.
This he said would be top priority for the NGF and promised to head straight to the presidency once the meeting was over.
He expressed the hope that this gesture from the governors would also energise the leadership of labour to put a hold on their planned action.
The NLC president, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the government violated the time-tested global process of dialogue and thanked the NGF chairman for his efforts at ensuring that sanity returns to the negotiation table.
The federal government on Friday directed workers to shun the planned strike action and report for duties on Monday.
A circular signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, said all officers on Grade Level 12 and above and those on essential services are strongly advised to be at work on Monday to perform their official duties.
Labour had given the government a two-week ultimatum to reverse the increments else they will embark on a nationwide strike.
By Muideen Olaniyi & Abbas Jimoh