The meeting between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) over fuel subsidy removal has ended without a consensus.
The meeting began around 4pm on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa.
Representatives of the Federal Government, including Dele Alake, the spokesperson for President Bola Tinubu; and the Group CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mele Kyari.
Others government officials present were the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The Organised Labour was represented by the NLC National President, Joe Ajaero; and the President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Festus Osifo.
After several hours of meeting with the Federal Government, the NLC demanded that the Federal Government return to status quo by reversing the price of fuel before resuming negotiations with the NLC.
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The National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, who criticised the removal of subsidy stated that statusquo returns before any formal engagement with the NLC to protect the Nigerian workforce and proffer additional solutions.
The NLC insisted that the Federal Government did not enter into any conversation even on palliative measures for Nigerians, hence the rejection of the latest announcement.
The union said it had decided to reconvene with its members to determine the next line of action.
Conversely, Alake described the meeting as robust, adding that talks would continue. He expressed hope that the parties would reach a reasonable conclusion at its next adjourned meeting.
‘Fuel Subsidy Is Gone’
On Monday during his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square in Abuja, President Bola Tinubu said the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended, adding that with the 2023 budget making no provision for fuel subsidy, further payment was no longer justifiable.
“The fuel subsidy is gone,” Tinubu said. His government would instead channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy, he added.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and House Of Representatives have since backed Tinubu’s decision.
However, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) argued the President could not unilaterally take a decision on subsidy removal, saying there was a reason the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari pushed the “sensitive issue” to the new government.
Fuel queues have since resurfaced across the country since the presidential pronouncement as Nigerians forage for the premium product.
‘Tears And Sorrow’
Ajaero, on Tuesday, kicked against Tinubu’s announcement confirming the removal of fuel subsidy.
The NLC president described the development as not well planned, saying Nigerians feel betrayed by the move.
“By his insensitive decision, President Tinubu on his inauguration day brought tears and sorrow to millions of Nigerians instead of hope. He equally devalued the quality of their lives by over 300 per cent and counting,” he said in a statement.
President is not a magician, says Remi Tinubu
The first lady, Oluremi Tinubu, says her husband, President Bola Tinubu, would not wave a magic wand and solve all of the country’s problems in a flash.
The first lady said this on Sunday during an inter-denominational church service to commemorate Nigeria’s Independence Day.
She said her husband inherited the current challenges in the country, adding that the president is determined to fix them rather than blame past leaders.
“All we inherited are things that had happened many years ago. We are not here to put blame on any administration but to fix what has been damaged,” she said.
“My husband is not a magician. He is going to work and I believe and hope that we will have peace in this country. The best is yet to come to us.
“Good governance can only be impactful if the people follow the example of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who embodied the fruit of the spirit, including love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance and forgiveness.
“A Nigeria of abundance has begun, and to be part of the greatness that God has started in the nation, Nigerians must look beyond their current realities and embrace hope anew.”
Also speaking at the event, George Akume, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), urged Nigerians to remain patient, adding that measures are being put in place to provide solutions to the problems bedevilling the country.
“Solutions to Nigeria’s complex problems can never be as instant as expected. It will take some time, but measures are already being put in place to address them,” Akume said.
Lagos to clampdown on illegal dredging operation, reads riot act
Determined to end illegal dredging activities in the state, the Lagos State government has vowed to stop all illegal dredging operations and flush out those operating without a government’s permit in the dredging sector from the state.
The Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu disclosed this during a meeting with the members of the executive council of the Dredgers’ Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter.
The meeting was called to seek the cooperation of the association in enforcing guidelines regulating dredging activities and to declare Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration’s zero tolerance for illegal dredging operations in the state.
According to the Commissioner, though the meeting is a familiarization forum to interact with members of the association and get first-hand information on how dredging activities could be improved upon with the view to maintaining the state’s waterfronts and prevent environmental degradation.
While soliciting their support in sanitizing dredging activities in the state, Bush-Alebiosu disclosed that the state would not condone the spate of illegal dredging activities being carried out in every nooks and crannies of the state.
Bush-Alebiosu also expressed the readiness of government officials to begin enforcement activities soon and that anybody caught violating dredging laws and regulations of the state would be prosecuted.
He therefore urged them to obtain all necessary permits and regularize their operations immediately.
He assured them of the government’s readiness to stand by the association in carrying out their lawful activities and also support them in all they do to ensure good waterfronts in Lagos State.
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In his remarks, Mr Kehinde Gbajumo, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry expressed his delight that the state executive members of the association were present at the meeting, saying this would go a long way in conveying the views of the state government to their members.
Gbajumo noted that dredging activities in the state are “no longer business as usual,” adding that the ministry is now all out to enforce the laws regulating dredging activities, he also enjoined them to comply with the guidelines.
In his response, the President of the Dredgers Association of Nigeria, Mr Bature Akpomejero pledged their support and cooperation to the state government in getting rid of illegal dredgers in the state.
He solicited the support of the ministry for proper regularization of dredging activities to curb the activities of illegal dredgers and their impact on the environment.
Akpomejero also urged the ministry to look into the issue of overloading of trucks by dredgers and those moving wet sand on the roads, which cause a lot of damage to our roads.
The secretary general of the association, Richard Ntan, also lent his voice; assuring the ministry of maximum cooperation and collaboration of the association, noting that they are ready to cooperate with the government.
Ntan called for more such meetings with the ministry to be able to iron out grey areas affecting their operations while fashioning out areas of mutual benefit between dredgers and the state government.
The dredging operation terms and conditions were later distributed to the members of the association to further enlighten them on their obligations to the state.
Nigeria@63: God will heal our land – Pastor Adeboye
Pastor Enoch Adeboye has prayed to God to heal Nigeria, asking citizens to also pray for the betterment of the nation.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) said this on Sunday during the church’s October Thanksgiving Service and Nigeria’s 63rd Independent Day celebration.
Pastor Adeboye spoke on the topic ‘Freedom Indeed’ during the service.
“I pray in the name that is above every other name that God will heal our nation,” the preacher said.
“Independence is talking about freedom, that is why we would be talking about freedom indeed. You may be enjoying independence from the colonial master and still be a slave to sickness, poverty, terror, and forces of darkness,” he added.
“I am wishing you a very good celebration but more than anything else, I wish all of you who are in Christ freedom and freedom indeed.”
In many churches across the nation, the Christians marked Independence Day with praises and prayers for the country.
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